The Texas Republican Party was harshly criticized after it adopted a new platform calling homosexuality an "abnormal lifestyle choice" after 5,100 delegates and alternates voted on it Saturday, June 18.
The platform also affirms the opposition of Texas Republicans to “all efforts to validate transgender identity” and calls for a ban on gender-affirming medical care–including hormone therapy–for anyone under 21.
These talking points about transgender people also demonstrate Republicans will not repudiate the controversy that erupted earlier this year after Greg Abbott, the state's Republican governor, signed off on legislation that, though ultimately struck down by a federal judge, would have empowered the state to open child abuse investigations into families whose children receive gender affirming healthcare.
The platform was adopted during the Texas GOP's biennial convention in Houston, footage from which you can watch below.
The platform also comes at a time of widespread "groomer" hysteria among Republicans accusing LGBTQ+ people of building relationships, trust and emotional connections with children so they can manipulate, exploit and abuse them.
To that end, Texas Republicans have made clear they oppose making members of the LGBTQ+ community a protected class and they do support conversion therapy.
Conversion therapy, often described as "promoting healthy sexuality" or "sexual reorientation efforts" in right-wing circles as the practice has come under further scrutiny, is defined as any attempt to change a person’s sexual orientation, gender identity or gender expression.
Numerous health and welfare organizations have spoken out against the practice. The American Psychological Association (APA) has affirmed "there is insufficient evidence to support the use of psychological interventions to change sexual orientation."
Other organizations, such as The American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry (AACAP), The United Nations High Commissioner of Human Rights (OHCHR) and The World Health Organization (WHO) have also condemned conversion therapy, citing the wealth of scientific research studies discrediting the practice.
But Texas Republicans say efforts should be made among the LGBTQ+ community to eliminate “unwanted same-sex attraction" as they advocate for what they termed "Reintegrative Therapy."
The news horrified LGBTQ+ advocates and members of the wider community, who took to social media to criticize the platform for its blatant bigotry
The platform is especially controversial for its other provisions, which include a pledge for students in Texas to “learn about the humanity of the preborn child” by witnessing a live ultrasound and the use of fetal baby models.
And while largely unsurprising, Texas Republicans have thrown their support behind former President Donald Trump's falsehoods about the integrity of the 2020 general election, stating that “substantial election fraud in key metropolitan areas significantly affected the results in five key states in favor of … [Democratic President Joe] Biden.”
Republicans stressed that they do not accept “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.”
They've called on registered Republicans to vote in November's midterm elections, encouraging them to “bring your friends and family, volunteer for your local Republicans and overwhelm any possible fraud."