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Texas GOP Approves 24 Anti-LGBTQ Platform Planks, Including Support for ‘Ex-Gay’ Therapy

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By John Wright

Happy Pride Month from the Republican Party of Texas!

Delegates to the GOP state convention in San Antonio approved a rabidly anti-LGBTQ party platform over the weekend.

Texas Republicans once again officially endorsed the dangerous, discredited practice of “ex-gay” therapy, including for “self-motivated” youth. They called on state officials to reject the Supreme Court’s ruling in favor of same-sex marriage, and repeal Texas’ hate crimes law.

The 2018 platform also calls for the repeal of local nondiscrimination ordinances that protect LGBTQ people, and states that businesses and their employees should have a license to discriminate based on their religious beliefs.

The document opposes “all efforts to validate transgender identity,” and calls for banning trans military service, and requiring trans people to use restrooms in government buildings, including schools, based on the sex they were assigned at birth. It states that, “The official position of the Texas schools with respect to transgenderism is that there are only two genders: male and female.”

In response to the efforts of the Log Cabin Republicans, delegates removed an especially heinous anti-gay sentence from the platform stating that, “Homosexual behavior is contrary to the fundamental truths that have been ordained by God in the Bible.” However, the 2018 document remains as anti-LGBTQ as ever.

Below is list of the 24 anti-LGBTQ planks. You can read the full platform here.

Principles

We believe in …

6) Self-sufficient families, founded on the traditional marriage of a natural man and a natural woman.

Business, Commerce and Transportation

14) Counseling and Therapy: No laws or executive orders shall be imposed to limit or restrict access to sexual orientation counseling for self-motivated youth and adults. [State]

26) Municipal Preemption: We encourage the Legislature to preempt local government efforts to interfere with the State’s sovereignty over business, employees, and property rights. This includes but is not limited to burdensome regulations on short-term rentals, bags, sick leave, trees, and employee criminal screening. We support preemption of city ordinances that dictate sick leave policies to private businesses. [Local]

Criminal and Civil Justice 

102) Hate Crimes: We urge the complete repeal of the Hate Crimes Law since ample laws are currently in effect to punish criminal behavior towards other persons.

Education Subcommittee

116) Campus Speech: We urge the Texas Legislature to recognize the rights of those on college campuses to practice their faith and their right to free speech. We further urge that the Texas Legislature write legislation to protect the right of anyone who steps onto college campuses, to prohibit college campuses from stripping away their First Amendment rights of free speech and practicing their religion. We support withdrawal of public funding from any college or university within this state that actively or passively discriminates or permits discrimination against the free speech of either students or guest speakers. Student groups shall have the unfettered right to elect their leaders, choose their members, and set their organization’s mission, purpose, and standard of conduct. [Federal, State]

121) Sexual Education: We demand the state legislature pass a law prohibiting the teaching of sex education, sexual health, or sexual choice, or identity in any public school in any grade whatsoever, or disseminating or permitting the dissemination by any party of any material regarding the same. All school districts, individual schools, or charter schools are prohibited from contracting with or making any payment to any third party for material concerning any of the above topics. Until this prohibition goes into effect, sexual education shall only utilize sexual risk avoidance programs and promote abstinence outside of marriage. [State, Local]

122) Extracurricular Opportunities: We encourage nonpublic school parents to create extracurricular opportunities for their children where they are not readily available and in a manner that they can be free from discriminatory testing, intrusive government oversight, or harmful school policies regarding mixed-gender students in bathrooms and locker rooms. We encourage the legislature to find ways to allow nonpublic school students’ participation. Any home school student that does not participate will be unaffected. [State, Local]

140) Gender Identity: The official position of the Texas schools with respect to transgenderism is that there are only two genders: male and female. [State, Local]

Health and Human Services

240) Gender Identity: We oppose all efforts to validate transgender identity. We call upon our legislature to enact laws prohibiting the use of hormones before the age of 18 in an attempt to change gender. We believe it should be illegal to remove healthy body parts in minors in an effort to try to transition to the opposite sex.

241) No Taxpayer Funding for Sex Change: We oppose the use of taxpayer funds for any type of gender dysphoria treatments or sex change operations and/or treatments.

256) Homosexuality: We believe there should be no granting of special legal entitlements or creation of special status for homosexual behavior, regardless of state of origin, and we oppose any criminal or civil penalties against those who oppose homosexuality out of faith, conviction, or belief in traditional values.

259) Conscience Clause: All persons and legal entities have the right of conscience, and should be protected under Texas law if they conscientiously object to participate in practices that conflict with their moral or religious beliefs. This includes, but is not limited to, abortion, the prescription for and dispensing of drugs with abortifacient potential, human cloning, embryonic stem cell research, eugenic screenings, euthanasia, assisted suicide, harmful futile procedures, and the withdrawal of nutrition and hydration.

National Defense and Border Security

275) No Gender Norming in Military: We oppose gender norming in the military. Transgendered persons should not serve in the military as a special class; no special considerations or medical treatment shall be required or offered.

State Affairs 

303) Religious Freedom for Business Owners: We support the removal of laws and regulations that are used to force business owners and employees to violate their sincerely held beliefs.

304) Public Accommodations: We support legislation at the state and federal level that concretely defines public accommodations as originally defined and understood in the Civil Rights Act of 1964, that it prohibit any expansion of that legal definition by any federal, state, or local law to expand government control to restrict any First Amendment rights; and to proscribe any law that requires any private business or individual to create or provide a custom product or service, or any kind of expressive work, or enter into a contract, or be coerced into any speech that is not their own.

305) Religious Freedom of Speech and Practice: We call on the Texas Legislature to repeal the Johnson Amendment that assaults the free speech of pastors and religious organizations. We further resolve to protect the First Amendment rights of any citizen to practice their religion and exercise their right to free speech in the public square, as well as in religious organization affiliations.

310) Gender Identity Facilities in Businesses: We support enacting legislation in the State of Texas ensuring no government entity in the state be allowed to take it upon itself to define for any private business or private entity how it must segregate its restrooms, changing facilities, or showers; nor may any government agency be allowed to require businesses to profess, espouse, or adopt specific views on sex, sexuality, gender, or gender identity, other than to guarantee that views and positions on these matters are not used as a basis to deny access to public accommodations, as defined by the Civil Rights Act of 1964, nor to deny employment, or discriminate in employment decisions, solely on the basis of a person’s views on these matters.

311) Child Rights: We call on the Texas Legislature to pass legislation to protect privacy in public schools and government buildings as allowed by Title IX of the Civil Rights Act, by ensuring multi-use facilities, including showers, changing rooms, and bathrooms, are designated for and used only by persons based on the person’s biological sex.

312) No Sexuality Indoctrination: We call on the state legislature to pass legislation so that no public school or other educational institution may force, require, or pressure any child or student to profess, espouse, or adopt, or otherwise be indoctrinated without explicit parental consent, specific views on sex, sexuality, gender, or gender identity.

313) Gender Identity Pronouns: We oppose any attempt to criminalize and/or penalize anyone for the wrong use of pronouns.

316) Homosexual Behavior: We affirm God’s biblical design for marriage and sexual behavior between one biological man and one biological woman, which has proven to be the foundation for all great nations in Western Civilization. We oppose homosexual marriage, regardless of state of origin. We urge the Texas Legislature to pass religious liberty protections for individuals, businesses, and government officials who believe marriage is between one man and one woman. We oppose the granting of special legal entitlements or creation of special status for homosexual behavior, regardless of state of origin. We oppose any criminal or civil penalties against those who oppose homosexuality out of faith, conviction, or belief in traditional values.

317) Definition of Marriage: We support the definition of marriage as a God-ordained, legal and moral commitment only between one natural man and one natural woman

318) State Authority over Marriage: We support withholding jurisdiction from the federal courts in cases involving family law, especially any changes in the definition of marriage.

319) Overturn Unconstitutional Ruling: We believe this decision, overturning the Texas law prohibiting same-sex marriage in Texas, has no basis in the Constitution and should be reversed, returning jurisdiction over the definition of marriage to the states. The Governor and other elected officials of the State of Texas should assert our Tenth Amendment right and reject the Supreme Court ruling.

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John Wright

John Wright is the editor of OutSmart magazine. He has spent two decades in the mainstream and LGBTQ media. Most recently, he served as senior editor of Dallas Voice, and covered LGBTQ issues in the state Legislature for The Texas Observer. Born and raised in Philadelphia, Wright earned his bachelor's degree in journalism from the University of Florida. He resides in the EaDo area of Houston, where he is currently remodeling a 1930s row house.
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