Congratulations gay republicans in the Lone Star State! The draft platform for the Texas GOP has upgraded you from "pariah" to "mistake."
According to a report in the Houston Chronicle, the Texas GOP, holding its convention in Fort Worth this week, has revamped the party’s platform language on homosexuality in a draft version. The full GOP platform committee will vote on changes Friday, before delegates consider the platform Saturday.
In a draft version of the party platform obtained by the Antonio Express-News/Houston Chronicle, convention delegates have stripped language from the party’s plank on homosexuality that said:
We affirm that the practice of homosexuality tears at the fabric of society and contributes to the breakdown of the family unit. Homosexual behavior is contrary to the fundamental, unchanging truths that have been ordained by God.
In its place, delegates have inserted language supporting gay conversion therapy.
We recognize the legitimacy and value of counseling which offers reparative therapy and treatment to patients who are seeking escape from the homosexual lifestyle. No laws or executive orders shall be imposed to limit or restrict access to this type of therapy.
The Chronicle notes the change in language drew some ire during testimony Thursday morning, with at least one delegate imploring the committee to return to the platform language about homosexuality tearing at the fabric of society.
According to a local CBS affiliate, Rudy Oeftering of gay conservative group Metroplex Republicans remained optimistic about the party platform.
"We’ve gotten nothing but support from the rank and," Oeftering said. "We sense a real change afoot in the Republican party. We think it’s a shrinking group within the party, that’s held power within the party for a very long time that just needs to catch up on this critical issue."
Oeftering’s group, along with Log Cabin Republicans, held a press conference in May denouncing the GOP’s stance against both organizations who were denied formal participation at the state convention.
"The party has denied our several attempts to host a booth in the convention exhibit hall, citing archaic language in the party platform to support their actions." Oeftering said. "We deserve to occupy a booth just like anyone else, and it’s time that the Texas GOP’s hypocritical policies and procedures are replaced by new ones that match the general opinion of Texan Republican voters."￼
At the same press conference, Log Cabin Republicans Executive Director Gregory T. Angelo appeared less concerned about the Texas GOP’s anti-gay policy than the prospect of losing to Democrats in the general election.
"Make no mistake: This isn’t about disagreements we may have on civil marriage; this isn’t about the party platform -- this is about an anti-gay wing of the party that hates gay people so much they can’t even stand to see us acknowledged as a necessary part of a winning Republican coalition," Angelo said. "At a time when Democrats are working overtime to turn Texas from red to purple and then a vibrant blue, now is not the time for the politics of subtraction and division in the GOP; it is time for addition and multiplication. The Texas State GOP and its leadership ignore that advice at their peril."