LGBT Democrats at the party's convention in Dallas

LGBT Democrats at the party’s convention in Dallas

CHICAGO — Truth Wins Out today praised the Texas Democratic Party for standing up against the quackery of “ex-gay” therapy, adding support for a ban against the practice to their party platform. The move came in response to the Texas GOP choosing to explicitly support “ex-gay” therapy, also known as “conversion” or “reparative” therapy, in their own platform, a giant step backward in a nation that is increasingly taking up the banner to protect LGBT youth from the documented harms of the practice. The Texas Democratic Party’s platform states that the GOP “continues to encourage violence against the very souls of LGBTQ people through the quackery of reparative therapy, which is now illegal in two states.”

“We cheer the ascendant Texas Democratic Party for taking a stand on this vital issue,” said Truth Wins Out Executive Director Wayne Besen. “In a state that is becoming more and more ‘purple’ each day, it’s heartening to know that there exists a large contingent of Texans who are ready to do what it takes to protect their kids from quack doctors who are more interested in promulgating junk science than they are in the well-being of their own patients.”

Democratic Texas gubernatorial candidate Wendy Davis has also expressed support for banning “ex-gay” therapy in her state. Due to rapidly changing demographics, the GOP is slowly losing its guaranteed stronghold on Texas, and the state could become competitive in presidential races within one or two election cycles.

While in Texas, this issue is divided between party lines, it is becoming a nonpartisan issue around the country. In 2013, New Jersey Governor Chris Christie signed a bill banning “ex-gay” therapy for minors in his state, California’s ban on the practice was upheld by the right-leaning Supreme Court yesterday, and lawmakers around the nation are becoming educated about the destroyed lives that have resulted from pracititioners who value ideology over sound mental health care. “Ex-gay” therapy is roundly rejected by all major medical and mental health associations, which state that the practice is ineffective at best, and can cause great harm to patients.

Many who were among the most prominent spokespeople and apologists for the “ex-gay” movement have recanted their views and expressed deep sorrow for the pain their work caused over the years. Alan Chambers, who ran the now defunct Exodus International, admitted that 99.9% of those he encountered in the movement never changed their sexual orientation. John Paulk, who was once the poster boy for the movement, appearing on the cover of Newsweek in 1998 with his then wife, now is living as an openly gay man, and is doing the hard work of apologizing to those who were hurt by his work. Indeed, the only public “ex-gays” left seem to be those who are currently making money promulgating the “ex-gay” lifestyle.

“We laud all lawmakers, Democrats and Republicans, who are willing to study the science on so-called ‘ex-gay’ therapy, and who understand how vitally important it is that not one more LGBT kid’s life is ruined by it,” said Truth Wins Out Associate Director Evan Hurst. “While praising the Texas Democratic Party, we further call on the Texas GOP to reverse their ugly stance and unite to protect all the kids of Texas.”

Truth Wins Out (TWO) is a non-profit organization that works to demolish the very foundation of anti-gay prejudice. Our philosophy is simple: We attack the underpinnings of homophobia by debunking harmful lies, discrediting hateful myths, and countering anti-gay organizations. By chipping away at the underlying ignorance that fuels anti-LGBT attitudes, we can ultimately win our fight for fairness and achieve full equality for gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender people worldwide.