Support and protection for reparative therapy has been included in the 2014 Republican Party of Texas Platform. But a leading mental health organization said this further stigmatizes and shames the Texas LGBT community.
The reparative therapy platform was introduced by Cathie Adams, executive director of the Texas Eagle Forum and adopted without any changes:
“We recognize the legitimacy and efficacy of counseling, which offers reparative therapy and treatment for those patients seeking healing and wholeness from their homosexual lifestyle. No laws or executive orders shall be imposed to limit or restrict access to this type of therapy.”
Dr. Clinton Anderson, associate director of the American Psychological Association’s LGBT Concerns Office, said reparative therapy began in the 1950s, when being gay was considered a crime and mental disorder.
The APA defines reparative therapy, which is sometimes referred to as conversion therapy, as: "counseling and psychotherapy to attempt to eliminate individuals’ sexual desires for members of their own sex."
Anderson said the APA has concerns about how this political party support will affect Texas’ LGBT community:
“We don’t believe that homosexuality is a mental disorder and we think that people that promote the idea that it is a disorder that it can be treated, that it can be cured, are contributing to a continued stigmatization of homosexuality and a misunderstanding,” Anderson said.
Anderson said research shows reparative therapy has not shown that it is effective, and in some cases has shown to be harmful to the person being treated, including depression and low self-esteem.