Anderson Cooper battled Texas state representative Bryan Hughes on Wednesday night over his support for gay conversion therapy programs.
The Texas Republican party recently voted to endorse "reparative therapy" in their platform, which now says that "no laws or executive orders shall be imposed to limit or restrict access to this type of therapy."
Cooper hosted Hughes for Wednesday's "Keeping Them Honest" segment, and asked him to respond to medical professionals who have said that conversion therapy is harmful to kids.
Hughes said there is medical literature for both sides of the issue, but Cooper quickly challenged that idea and ticked off organization after organization of doctors who oppose conversion therapy.
“I could give you a list," he told Hughes. "The American Academy of Pediatrics, the American Counseling Association, the American Psychiatric Association, the American Psychological Association, the American School Counselors’ Association, the National Association of School Psychologists, National Association of Social Workers. They represent half a million mental health professionals, they all say [being gay] is not a mental disorder. It’s not something that needs to be cured."
Cooper also played a clip of Exodus International head Alan Chambers, who told the CNN host last year that he deeply regrets his work with conversion therapy and telling people that God does not love them if they are gay.
"No one is saying that God doesn’t love people as they are,” Hughes responded, adding, "Every one of us makes mistakes, makes decisions we’re not proud of."
"The fact that you view being gay — or you characterize it — as a ‘mistake,’ or something that should be changed really kind of maybe says more about your position than what your words actually say," Cooper said.
Watch their debate in the clip above.
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