Texas Democrats Counter Republicans’ Homophobia In New Platform

CREDIT: AP Photo/LM Otero

Eli Olivarez, president of the Texas Stonewall Democratic Caucus, leads his group in a march during the party's convention.

Last month, the Texas Republican Party created a stir when it endorsed ex-gay therapy in its 2014 platform. Now the Texas Democratic Party has countered by calling for a ban on the treatment mirroring those that have already passed in California and New Jersey.

In a platform approved this weekend during the party’s convention in Dallas, the Texas Democrats directly call out their Republican counterparts: “The Republican Party of Texas continues to encourage violence against the very souls of LGBTQ people through the quackery known as “reparative therapy” which is now illegal in two states.” Not only does the platform oppose the use of any public funding for the treatment, it calls on health officials to “fully investigate and to sanction any practitioner who engages in reparative therapy.”

The plank against ex-gay therapy is only one of many pro-LGBT positions the Democrats take. Others include:

  • Full support for marriage equality in Texas and nationally, including the repeal of all laws and amendments limiting which families are protected under the law.
  • The addition of “actual or perceived gender-related characteristics” to Texas’ hate crimes law.
  • Creation of a “uniform, transparent, and streamlined legal process” to allow transgender Texans to obtain accurate identity documents, including their preferred names and pronouns.
  • Education for teachers and all social, health care, and public service professionals about how to create safer spaces for LGBTQ people.
  • Workplace non-discrimination protections for all LGBTQ employees, including support for the federal Employment Non-Discrimination Act.

Even Texas Republican Chairman Steve Munisteri has distanced himself from his party’s ex-gay therapy endorsement, incredulously asking Texas Public Radio,” Do they think they can take a straight person to a psychiatrist and turn them gay?” He explained that the platform was rushed through with a parliamentary trick and that it is widely opposed by Republicans across the state.

(HT: Lone Star Q.)