REPUBLICAN politicians in the US state of Texas earlier this week officially backed “gay cure” treatments despite some states making the therapy illegal.
Delegates at the Texas Republican Party’s convention in Fort Worth voted to recognise the validity of reparative therapy, essentially treatments to supposedly turn gay people straight.
Backers of the measures say it is aimed at giving people a choice.
Cathie Adams, president of the conservative Texas Eagle Forum, told CNN that gay cure therapy wasn’t mandatory and it was “a freedom issue.”
“I do not think homosexuals are born as homosexuals,” Adams said.
“There are too many people who’ve changed their mind about homosexuality.
“No one can change the colour of their skin or change the place they’re born, but they can definitely choose their lifestyles”.
Adams’ views are not shared by professional bodies such as the American Medical Association or the American Psychiatric Association (APA).
“The most important fact about these ‘therapies’ is that they are based on a view of homosexuality that has been rejected by all the major mental health professions,” the APA stated.
“To date, there has been no scientifically adequate research to show that therapy aimed at changing sexual orientation … is safe or effective.”
The states of New Jersey and California have both banned reparative therapy for teenagers and other minors.
The Texas Republican Party convention has long been a lonely place for LGBTI members with the party’s gay groups barred from having an official presence at the event.
Nevertheless, gay conservatives did score one win with the removal of decades-old language in the party platform that states “homosexuality tears at the fabric of society,” according to the Associated Press.
Texas’ ban on same-sex marriage was struck down in February following a court ruling it was unconstitutional.
However, the ruling will not take effect until opponents of the measure have had time to appeal.