Fort Worth – About 10,000 delegates voted on party platforms at the Texas GOP Convention in Fort Worth Saturday. One of the issues that passed this year is reparative therapy for homosexuals. Reparative therapy is meant to convert homosexuals into heterosexuals and it's seen as very controversial in the medical field, but supporters of the therapy said it should be an option.
"The reparative therapy is a voluntary program. It is just made available like every other healthcare or counseling need that Americans would seek out," said Texas Eagle Forum President Cathie Adams who is spearheading the measure.
States like California and New Jersey have banned reparative therapy for minors because the American Psychiatric Association as well as the American Medical Association said the therapy is dangerous.
"It can cause so much stress that it might cause substance-abuse, suicidal thoughts or actions, major depression," said Clinical Sexologist Tali Boots.
"If you have some immutable quality about you that the world is telling you is terrible and you must change it ... and you put all your effort into changing it... and at the end of the day it still doesn't change that about you, that is psychologically damaging," said Gay Rights Activist Jimmy Flannigan.
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Adams said the right to choose the therapy is a free speech issue.
"If you are in that lifestyle and you want to get out, you are trapped by yourself, you cannot have help and that is not right," said Adams.
"I don't think it should be pushed at all. I'm worried that the Texas Republican Party is actually going in the wrong direction, a couple steps backwards," Boots disagreed.
Adams said the APA and the AMA have ulterior motives when they call reparative therapy harmful.
"It is taking a stand, not based on what is good for patients, instead what empowers themselves, what makes them politically correct, what pushes the liberal agenda," said Adams.
"I think that both of those organizations go on scientific proof and I think that scientific proof backs the patients," Boots argued.
Adams said she believes homosexuality is a lifestyle choice.
"There's nothing worse about it then lying or stealing or cheating, but it is not a normal, natural, healthy behavior," said Adams.
"There are plenty of studies that show animals in the wild having homosexual tendencies also, so I don't think that's true," said Boots.
"It's not something that could or couldn't be fixed. It's irrelevant. It's something that's in your personal life about who you are and it doesn't change your ability to be a productive member of society," said Flannigan.
A U.S. Court of appeals in California heard arguments regarding the ban on reparative therapy for minors last fall. All three judges on that panel ruled that the ban did not violate the First Amendment.
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