The Texas Republican Party adopted a platform in support of voluntary “reparative counseling” which aims to help homosexuals become heterosexuals.
Conversion therapy has been banned in California and New Jersey. However, in Texas the GOP approved a platform stating,"No laws or executive orders shall be imposed to limit or restrict access to this type of therapy."
"Nothing is mandatory," Cathie Adams, president of the conservative Texas Eagle Forum, told CNN in an email. "If a person chooses counseling, then it should be made available. California and New Jersey have passed bills OUTLAWING it altogether, which is under litigation. It's a freedom issue."
Professional groups, including the American Medical Association, the American Psychiatric Association and the American Psychological Association, say conversion therapy is both ineffective and possibly harmful.
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"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," said the APA.
"The American Psychological Association has found that efforts to change sexual orientations can pose critical health risks including, but not limited to, depression, substance abuse, social withdrawal, decreased self-esteem and suicidal thoughts,” said New Jersey Republican Gov. Chris Christie said last year. "I believe that exposing children to these health risks without clear evidence of benefits that outweigh these serious risks is not appropriate."
In a phone interview, Adams told CNN, "I do not think homosexuals are born as homosexuals.”
"To say this is an unchangeable thing, there are too many people who've changed their mind about homosexuality,” she said. “No one can change the color of their skin or change the place they're born, but they can definitely choose their lifestyles.”
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"To date, there has been no scientifically adequate research to show that therapy aimed at changing sexual orientation ... is safe or effective," the APA said.