Don't mess with Texas indeed. In fact, don't even look at it. (The Republican contingency that is . . . and there hasn't been a winning Democratic candidate since 1976.)
The Texas GOP recently released a draft of its platform; amid 40 pages of hate-mongering, misogynistic and generally infuriating garbage (on global warming: "We believe that the changes in climate that we have observed are simply part of the ongoing natural planetary cycle"; on sex education: "We urge legislators to prohibit reproductive health care services, including counseling, referrals, and distribution of condoms and contraception through public schools.")—there is a really twisted gem that even we were pretty shocked by.
Tucked oh-so-quietly into their "Strengthening Families, Protecting Life and Promoting Health" section is an entire area dedicated to homosexuality, in which it not-so-surprisingly states:
Homosexuality must not be presented as an acceptable alternative lifestyle, in public policy, nor should family be redefined to include homosexual couples. We believe there should be no granting of special legal entitlements or creation of special status for homosexual behavior, regardless of state of origin.
Yeah, yeah, yeah, we know. The holy-shit-are-you-kidding-me moment?
Additionally, we oppose any criminal or civil penalties against those who oppose homosexuality out of faith, conviction, or belief in traditional values. We recognize the legitimacy and value of counseling which offers reparative therapy and treatment to patients who are seeking escape from the homosexual lifestyle.
Also called "conversion therapy," this nifty little concept basically says that homosexuality is a kind of psychosis which can be cured (like the fear of flight, chronic anxiety or suicidal thoughts.) Freud is often credited with the the dubious concept that people's sexual orientation could be modified or "switched." Nauseatingly enough, it's known that therapists in the 50s and 60s would have patients masturbate to opposite-sex images in an attempt to "rewire" their desire, in addition to shock therapy and forced lobotomies. Shudder.
While the entire medical world (including The American Psychiatric Association) has discredited the damn thing—California even banned practitioners from offering such services—it appears Texas didn't get the memo. Worse yet? The Southern Poverty Law Center (a Civil Rights juggernaut) explains that:
People who have undergone conversion therapy have reported increased anxiety, depression, and in some cases, suicidal ideation.
Currently, conversion therapy is offered in 20 states by 70 different practitioners.