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Immigration, Gay Positions Seen Harming Texas GOP Outreach

 

  The sweep by movement conservatives at this past weekend's Texas Republican Convention has energized Tea Party and social conservative groups like the Eagle Forum, but many Republicans are asking if the GOP went too far in some of its hard line platform stances, 1200 WOAI news reports.

  The GOP, following a four hour debate, endorsed rigid enforcement of current marijuana laws, saying that even medical use of marijuana will lead to the use of harder drugs.

  The 7,000 delegates rejected what has been called the Texas Plan of dealing with illegal immigration.  That plan called for a 'guest worker' program which would allow some illegal immigrants to work openly in the state to provide workers needed by employers in the economically booming state.  But the delegates rejected that guest worker option, and approved a platform which rejects any accommodation with illegal immigrants, calling it 'amnesty.'  During a speech by Lieutenant Governor candidate Dan Patrick, delegates held up posters displaying fences, symbolizing their desire to secure the border and crack down on illegal immigration.

  But it was a bizarre plank which endorses so called 'reparative therapy,' or 'pray the gay away,' which has gotten the most attention.

  The plank specifically rejects any attempt by state lawmakers to outlaw the very controversial practice of using psychiatry to 'turn gays straight.'  The practice has been outlawed for minors in New Jersey and California, but there is no effort to ban it in Texas.

  Gregory Angelo, who heads the Log Cabin Republicans, an embattled gay GOP group, says the platform plank will push moderates and young people, many of whom are disillusioned with President Obama and the Democrats and are within reach of the Republican party's economic theories, away from the party.

  "I do not feel that the language that is in the Texas GOP platform is doing the party any favors," Angelo said.

  The 'reparative therapy' plank was pushed by the Texas Eagle Forum, a social conservative group.

  Angelo says the practice has been denounced by every major medical group.

  "The American Psychological Association, the American Medical Association, have all said that these types of therapies do more harm than good."

 

 

 

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