The Texas GOP held its biennial state convention in Houston over the weekend. It was the first in-person event since 2018 because of the Covid pandemic.
On Saturday, delegates adopted a new policy platform. The 40-page document includes a section on “Homosexuality and Gender Issues.”
This describes homosexuality as “an abnormal lifestyle choice”, before going on to say, “We believe there should be no granting of special legal entitlements or creation of special status for homosexual behavior … and we oppose any criminal or civil penalties against those who oppose homosexuality out of faith, conviction, or belief in traditional values.”
In relation to gender identity, it goes on to state, “We oppose all efforts to validate transgender identity”, vowing to campaign against any medical practitioner who acts to “Intervene in any way to prevent natural progression of puberty” or who offers gender-affirming hormones or surgery to those under 21 years of age.
It further states, “We oppose the use of taxpayer funds for any type of medical gender dysphoria treatments or sex-change operations and/or treatments.”
It backs the right of counselors to offer so-called conversion therapy to “clients of any age with gender dysphoria or unwanted same-sex attraction.”
Conversion therapy is the discredited practice of attempting to change someone’s sexual orientation or gender identity through psychotherapeutic means. It doesn’t work and usually does far more harm than good.
Earlier this year, GOP Governor Ted Abbott ordered state officials to investigate any parents supporting their children to have gender-affirming care. Attorney General Ted Paxton went as far as calling such activities “child abuse.”
Among those to speak at the conference was Senator Ted Cruz. He used his speech on Saturday to speak out against “woke” politics, highlighting the new Pixar movie Lightyear. which includes a same-sex kiss.
“Like, just leave the kids alone,” Cruz said. “Consenting adults, you can do what you want to do, but this culture assault is driven by radical leftists who want to tear down America.”
Although the party’s opposition to LGBTQ rights is nothing new, its use of the phrase “abnormal lifestyle choice” has angered many.
We must see the labeling of homosexuality “an abnormal lifestyle choice” by the Texas GOP’s platform for what it is: neo-fascist dehumanization.
Fascists target vulnerable minority groups and seek to galvanize public hate against them. The Texas GOP is practicing fascism.
— George Takei (@GeorgeTakei) June 19, 2022
Seems to me that choosing to live in Texas is an “abnormal lifestyle choice”
— Jeff Tracy (@JeffTracy13) June 19, 2022
Texas now in the the dark ages. The state’s Republican Party has officially declared homosexuality an “abnormal lifestyle choice”. They also oppose “all efforts to validate transgender identity”, and support “regenerative therapy” to eliminate same-sex attraction.
— Mike Sington (@MikeSington) June 20, 2022
Being Republican is an abnormal lifestyle choice and is considered an abomination by the Lord, Jesus Christ.
Ya see? Anyone can make shit up while invoking the Christian faith.
— Patriotic Moose & Lamb (v.2) (@geno_kusa) June 19, 2022
The @GOP should immediately condemn this false claim by the Texas Republican Party that being gay is “an abnormal lifestyle choice.”
This is a drastically unpopular position, and it rejects the life experiences of millions of Americans.https://t.co/Cjt1pdpCHI
— Cyd Zeigler (@CydZeigler) June 19, 2022
You know what else is an “abnormal lifestyle choice”, accepting dead school children as a legitimate cost to have easy access to Automatic and Semi-Automatic firearms for anyone 18 years of age and over.
— J Hougen (@HougenJ) June 19, 2022
Not only did the Texas GOP blast homosexuality as “abnormal”, but it also again made clear it didn’t welcome gay people among its ranks. Not for the first time, it barred the gay GOP group, Log Cabin Republicans, from having a booth at the conference.
The LCR was disappointed by the decision and called it “shameful”.
“Texas Republicans just saw on Tuesday night what happens when the party includes new faces and voices – a Democrat-held seat was flipped for the first time in nearly a hundred years by a conservative Mexican woman,” it said in a statement, referring to congressional seat win last week by Mayra Flores (R) in South Texas.
“It’s clear that inclusion wins, which makes the Texas Republican Party leadership’s decision to exclude the Texas Log Cabin Republicans from their convention not just narrow-minded, but politically short-sighted.
“President Trump, who historically expanded the GOP’s coalition, made clear that LGBT conservatives are welcome in the America First movement and the Republican Party. It’s shameful that the Texas GOP leadership is choosing to not follow his lead. The only way we will regain control of Congress is to expand the tent.”
— Log Cabin Republicans (@LogCabinGOP) June 18, 2022
Besides throwing LGBTQ rights under the bus, the Texas GOP platform also states, “We reject the certified results of the 2020 Presidential election, and we hold that acting President Joseph Robinette Biden Jr. was not legitimately elected by the people of the United States.”