Republicans who have a problem with gay Americans are the ones who need therapy

Members of the gay conservative group GOProud at the March for Life.

At their state convention Saturday, the Republican Party of Texas approved this: “We recognize the legitimacy and efficacy of counseling, which offers reparative therapy and treatment for those patients seeking healing and wholeness from their homosexual lifestyle.”

Yes, “de-gaying” people is now part of the Texas GOP platform. This is not a parody.

I don’t know a single conservative, libertarian or Republican my age—even those who oppose gay marriage—who thinks this way.

And I’m 40.

Most Americans younger than me, even Republicans, can’t process this. It’s so alien to their life experience.

Consider this: Will & Grace debuted 16 years ago. How many people today under 30—the oldest of whom would’ve been 14 when that show began—would have ever thought that Will needed to be “de-gayed?” Probably not many. How many younger Americans today would prefer that their gay or lesbian cousin, brother, parent, friend, neighbor or co-worker seek such “treatment?”

I’d love to see the polling. It might break the record for the most lopsided survey in history. Not to mention, this controversial practice has already been banned in several states.

Rudy Oeftering, vice president of the Dallas based conservative gay group Metroplex Republicans, told the Associated Press, “There’s a very, very small group of people who want to keep the party in the past. We were here today to try to pull the party into the future.”

In March, The Washington Post’s Chris Cillizza demonstrated with one chart how the debate over gay marriage is essentially over—and it’s almost entirely due drastically different attitudes younger Americans have about homosexuality.

Oeftering added, “The only way the party can go into the future is to start listening to young people…”

The young voters the Republican Party needs will also not be young forever. The country has changed significantly on this issue due largely to the fact that most of us now have a gay friend, family member of acquaintance. It’s considered relatively normal or at least far more normal than it used to be.

It’s mainstream.

Perhaps most importantly, more gay Americans than ever no longer have to hide who they are—and thank God for that.

The language in the Texas platform itself will likely have no policy implications, but the message it sends screams backwardness. If I were a Democratic operative, I would try to insert this kind of anti-gay rhetoric into every Republican platform possible. This sort of messaging is kryptonite to young voters, independents and other categories the GOP desperately needs if it plans on winning elections in the future.

With a $17 trillion debt that keeps climbing we can count on the Democrats to do absolutely nothing to reverse this trend. They will also continue to spend as much as they can as quickly as they can. That’s what Democrats do.

At the moment, only the Republican Party can potentially save this country from the significant economic challenges that lie ahead. There are countless gay Americans who also share this concern. There are also a number of libertarian-leaning Republicans who are doing their best to change the perception that the GOP is the party of intolerance. If the GOP is to have a future, it is likely these types of Republicans who will play a significant role in shaping it.

In the meantime, Republicans who fear homosexuality more than they do the national debt, our monstrous federal government and the continuing erosion of individual liberty are the ones who should be seeking therapy.

Perhaps that could go in the next Texas GOP platform.