One kind reader (hat tip to Kathy) pointed out a bit of utterly insane GOP policy that perhaps ticks a few boxes for the religious and leaves the rest of us truly wondering what on earth is going on inside their heads, and so as reported by CNN, the news is that the Texas Republicans have decided that one of their policies will be the promotion of Gay Cures …
Texas Republicans have adopted a party platform that includes support for voluntary psychological “therapy” targeted at converting homosexuals to heterosexuals.
Almost 10,000 attendees gathered in Fort Worth at the annual Texas GOP Convention to vote on a platform ahead of the 2016 race for the White House.
Supporters of “conversion” or “reparative” therapy believe the treatment is effective in turning gays straight. California and New Jersey have banned the treatment for minors.
The Texas Republicans’ measure states that “We recognize the legitimacy and efficacy of counseling, which offers reparative therapy and treatment for those patients seeking healing and wholeness from their homosexual lifestyle. No laws or executive orders shall be imposed to limit or restrict access to this type of therapy.”
Spearheading the endorsement is Cathie Adams, president of the conservative Texas Eagle Forum. She stressed that the measure calls for allowing people to choose the treatment.
“Nothing is mandatory,” Adams wrote in an e-mail to CNN on Saturday. “If a person chooses counseling, then it should be made available. California and New Jersey have passed bills OUTLAWING it altogether, which is under litigation. It’s a freedom issue.”
OK, first … what does the scientific evidence tell us about this “therapy”?
- There has been no scientific demonstration of conversion therapy’s efficacy … ever … anywhere – Just the Facts About Sexual Orientation & Youth: A Primer for Principals, Educators and School Personnel, Just the Facts Coalition, 1999
- Conversion therapy is not just ineffective, it is actually risky and can be harmful – this includes, but is not limited to, depression, substance abuse, social withdrawal, decreased self-esteem and suicidal thoughts.
So who exactly is prepared to criticise this pseudo-scientific nonsense?
- The American Medical Association
- The American Psychiatric Association
- The American Psychological Association
- TheAmerican Association for Marriage and Family Therapy
- The American Counseling Association
- The National Association of Social Workers
- The American Academy of Pediatrics
- The National Association of School Psychologists
- The American Academy of Physician Assistants
So why is the GOP in Texas promoting this?
One word sums it up – religion.
Those that support this therapy “believe” that it works, despite all the evidence that clearly demonstrates that this claim is not in any way factual or even ethical.
The real problem
This is in fact one manifestation of the core problem. The issue that is nestling at the root of all this is that one specific religious belief is driving political policy, and as a result real measurable harm will be caused.
The only truly viable form of political policy that should ever be acceptable for any party is evidence-based policy, anything and everything else is fatally flawed, especially the belief-driven policies of the GOP – that is truly a road to disaster. Yes it is possible to choose to do some real harm to yourself, but promoting that as a political policy under the banner of “freedom of choice” is quite frankly nuts.