The Texas Republican party adopted a new platform on Saturday that refers to homosexuality as “abnormal” and “opposes all efforts to validate transgender identity.”
The Texas GOP party adopted the 40-page platform at its biennial convention in Houston after passing the party’s new guiding principles, which includes a section titled “Homosexuality and Gender Issues.”
The section includes a formal position declaring the state’s GOP party is against giving a special legal status to gay men or women and that they support people who oppose homosexuality based on faith, religion or a belief in “traditional values.”
“Homosexuality is an abnormal lifestyle choice,” the platform document reads. “We believe there should be no granting of special legal entitlements or creation of special status for homosexual behavior, regardless of state of origin.”
The section also opposes the use of public funds for homosexuality, transgender or diversity and equity inclusion centers as well as for gender-affirming care — while supporting controversial counseling methods intended to “convert” members of the LGBTQ community. Texas does not have a law banning conversion therapy.
A wave of anti-LGBTQ bills have flooded red states this year, with Republican-leading majorities specifically targeting the transgender community.
Texas has passed laws banning the participation of transgender youth in sports and prohibiting the discussion of sexual orientation or transgender identity in public schools. The Movement Advancement Project gives Texas a low rating for LGBTQ rights.
Texas Gov. Greg Abbott (R) drew backlash earlier this year when he ordered state officials to investigate parents of transgender children who allow their child to undergo gender-affirming care, which the state’s attorney general Ken Paxton called “child abuse.”
The directive is still being challenged in court after a judge recently halted the investigations.
At the Texas Republican Party convention on Saturday, Sen. Ted Cruz spoke in opposition to what he called the “woke” agenda from the left and discussed Disney’s new “Lightyear” movie — about the popular Buzz Lightyear character from the “Toy Story” franchise — because one scene includes a same-sex couple kissing.
“Like, just leave the kids alone,” Cruz said. “Consenting adults, you can do what you want to do, but this culture assault is driven by radical leftists who want to tear down America.”
The party’s new platform was adopted during Pride Month, a time when the LGBTQ community and the movement’s supporters rally and hold events in support.
The community has been on edge during festivities this month after 31 members of Patriot Front, a far-right white supremacist organization based in Texas, were arrested earlier this month in Idaho for conspiracy to riot at a Pride event.
President Biden last week signed an executive order designed to protect the LGBTQ community from conservative state laws preventing access to health care resources and from laws banning discussion of gender identity in schools.
“My message to all the young people: just be you. You are loved. You are heard. You are understood. You do belong,” Biden said at the signing ceremony. “All of us on this stage have your back.”
–Updated on June 20 at 7:52 a.m.