As many of you know by now, the GOP platform is a huge mess of homophobic nonsensical junk marshaled in by Family Research Council president Tony Perkins.
Amongst other things, it includes attacks against marriage equality, the right of transgender men and women to use restrooms of their desired gender identity, and same-sex families.
But one thing in general which has everyone talking is that the platform supports the fraudulent practice of “ex-gay” or reparative therapy. In spite of the fact that many medical groups, including the American Psychological Association, the American Medical Association, and the American Psychiatric Association all reject the idea that this type of therapy is successful or healthy, the GOP platform committee, pushed by Perkins, went ahead and approved the following plank:
“We support the right of parents to determine the proper treatment or therapy, for their minor children.”
There has been so much talk about the inanity of the plank that many aren’t paying attention to the cynical and calculating nature of its addition. Both the platform itself and Perkins are deliberately vague about the support of “ex-gay” therapy. The plank is a measly sentence which doesn’t even include the words “ex-gay” or “reparative.” In addition, Perkins doesn’t mention the words when he bragged about the platform. He said the following:
I also offered an amendment on conscience, for the right of parents to determine not only the medical treatment for their minor children, but also therapy. As mental health awareness has become all the more common with suicide, addiction, and many other struggles, parents should be able to decide the best treatment and therapy for their children, not the government.
The entire GOP platform is designed to make the party and those who influence it look like defenders of the traditional trope of family against “radical outsiders” whose goal is to destroy it. The innocuous comments and plank supporting “ex-gay” therapy proves this point in three areas
It makes the push for “ex-gay” therapy sound like that the GOP is taking the sides of parents against a hostile and encroaching government; a serious exploitation of the adage that “parents know best. It fits rather nicely into the talking point embraced by folks like Perkins and groups like FRC that the Obama Administration, i.e. the government in this case, is anti-Christian, anti-moral, and anti-American.
Lastly, the fact that the words “ex-gay” or “reparative” isn’t in the plank tells that those supporting it, Perkins probably most of all, are aware of the controversy involving the practice and the harm it causes. I’m sure that they also know the opposition it faces from the medical groups and that New York, New Jersey, and several other states have passed laws banning its use on minors.
But they don’t care.
If confronted with these facts and the stories of those subjected to this type of false therapy, no doubt they repeat the talking point, “we just think parents know what’s best for their own children instead of the government.”
Repeat it? Hell, they’ll embrace it like a lost lover.
But the push against “ex-gay” therapy has nothing to do with government encroachment. The medical community has come out en masse against this type of therapy, declaring that it is useless and harmful. If a parent wants to subject his or her child to a type of therapy deemed harmful by the medical community, perhaps that parent doesn’t know what’s best for the child. If anything, it sounds like parental child abuse. And no one has any business advocating child abuse, especially those who are always attempting to seize the moral high ground.
Don’t be fooled by the “aw shucks” okey-dokey. The GOP’s embracing of “ex-gay” therapy only proves how much it is beholden to the anti-lgbt right. And it proves just how far the anti-lgbt right will go to continue its narrative of homophobia in the name of God.