In an interview earlier this week with NBC’s Chuck Todd, Republican National Convention (RNC) Chairman Reince Priebus tried to deny just how extreme the platform is, falsely claiming that the platform doesn’t endorse "conversion therapy."
“There’s two things in the platform that…I’m curious if you’re comfortable with it,” Todd asked. “One it says ‘conversion therapy.’”
“No, it doesn’t,” Priebus replied. “That’s out…There’s an amendment on that issue. It has been taken out…it’s not in the final platform.”
The amendment adopted by the platform committee explicitly supported “conversation therapy.” Party leaders modified the final language to keep the extreme position, but make it far less obvious. The context of the entire debate around this makes it crystal clear that “support[ing] the right of parents to determine the proper medical treatment and therapy for their minor children” means continuing to allow this harmful practice to be lawful. The fact that Tony Perkins and his allies didn’t raise a ruckus when the language was tweaked tells you all you need to know.
The party’s abhorrent platform, described by some of the GOP’s own members as the most anti-LGBTQ in history, aligns closely with positions taken by presidential nominee Donald Trump, and his vice presidential pick, Mike Pence, who has made virulent anti-LGBTQ activism a cornerstone of his political career.
In 2000, Pence wanted to cut funding for HIV prevention and redirect the funds toward those institutions which provide assistance to those seeking to "change their sexual behavior."
“Conversion therapy” is based on the false premise that being LGBTQ is a mental illness that needs to be cured, a theory that has been rejected by every major medical and mental health organization for decades. For more information on the lies and dangers of efforts to change sexual orientation or gender identity can be found here.
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