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Texas GOP advances 'reparative therapy' for gays, pushes to add language to new Republican platform

BY PAUL J. WEBER AND WILL WEISSERT
THE ASSOCIATED PRESS

FORT WORTH, Texas -- The Texas Republican Party would endorse psychological treatment that seeks to turn gay people straight under a new platform partly aimed at rebuking laws in California and New Jersey that ban so-called "reparative therapy" on minors.

A push to include the new anti-gay language survived a key vote late Thursday in Fort Worth at the Texas Republican Convention where, across the street, tea party star U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz fired up attendees at a rally to defend marriage as between a man and a woman.

Under the new proposed plank, the Texas GOP will "recognize the legitimacy and efficacy of counseling, which offers reparative therapy and treatment for those patients seeking healing and wholeness from their homosexual lifestyle."

The full convention of nearly 10,000 delegates from across Texas will take a final vote on the platform Saturday.

Gay conservatives in Texas could still emerge with a rare victory on a separate issue: removing decades-old platform language that states, "Homosexuality tears at the fabric of society." Stripping that phrasing survived a sometimes-tense challenge from hardliners who not only wanted to preserve it, but wanted to replace "homosexuality" with "sexual sins."

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