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Texas GOP platform embraces discredited therapy to cure ‘unacceptable’ LGBT people

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In a draft copy of its official party platform, the Texas Republican Party has classified LGBT people as aberrant and endorsed the discredited practice of so-called “reparative therapy,” which seeks to rid people of same-sex attractions and turn them heterosexual.

The Houston Chronicle reported Thursday that the current draft of the party’s 2014 platform reads, in part, “(W)e oppose any criminal or civil penalties against those who oppose homosexuality out of faith, conviction, or belief in traditional values. We recognize the legitimacy and value of counseling which offers reparative therapy and treatment to patients who are seeking escape from the homosexual lifestyle. No laws or executive orders shall be imposed to limit or restrict access to this type of therapy.”

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Conversion therapy has been outlawed for minors in California and New Jersey as a form of child abuse.

Exodus International — the North American nerve center for the “ex-gay” therapy movement — shut its doors in June of 2013, admitting that its mission is impossible, that sexual orientation is immutable and that the notion that people can be religiously converted from one orientation to another is a sham.

Exodus’ former director Alan Chambers penned a letter of apology to the LGBT Christians who were harmed by his ministry, writing, “I understand why I am distrusted and why Exodus is hated.”

Nonetheless, Texas Republicans are doggedly clinging to the notion that prayer and religious study can alter a person’s sexual orientation and that LGBT people are just straight victims of a treatable pathology.

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“Homosexuality must not be presented as an acceptable alternative lifestyle, in public policy, nor should family be redefined to include homosexual couples,” reads the platform statement.

Delegates were able to convince party extremists to drop language that declared that the practice of “homosexuality tears at the fabric of society and contributes to the breakdown of the family unit. Homosexual behavior is contrary to the fundamental, unchanging truths that have been ordained by God.”

However, Texas Republicans were sure to include language forbidding the recognition of same-sex marriages performed in other states, writing, “We believe there should be no granting of special legal entitlements or creation of special status for homosexual behavior, regardless of state of origin.”

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The draft platform called for even further restrictions on abortions performed in the state, gave tax incentives to energy companies engaging in the practice of hydraulic fracturing (or “fracking”) and called for further hearings to investigate the September, 2012 attack on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi, Libya.

The platform is expected to be ratified at this weekend’s 2014 Texas Republican State Convention, which is being held in Ft. Worth.

[image of two Texas Republicans via Facebook.com]

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Trump refusing to pay for New Mexico security and barricades — while trying to change the state from blue to red

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President Donald Trump thinks he will win New Mexico. He's repeated the factoid multiple times, including to a group of oil and gas workers and executives Wednesday at a conference in Pittsburgh, PA. But he also made two significant mistakes to put that support in jeopardy.

First, the president indicated he was building his "wall" on the border of Colorado, which is north of New Mexico. It would mean that New Mexico was now part of Mexico.

Second, it was reported by the Albuquerque Journal that their city is yet another one Trump's campaign is refusing to pay for security costs.

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Intel Committee has ‘recent evidence’ Ukraine witnesses are working together to ‘coordinate’ their stories

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House investigators have "recent evidence" of witnesses working to coordinate their testimony before Congress, a Democratic congressman revealed on MSNBC on Wednesday.

Rep. Eric Swalwell (D-CA), who sits on the Intelligence and Judicial committees, was interviewed by MSNBC Chris Hayes.

"Final question, what is the timeline here?" Hayes asked. "There is some transparency argument that at some point this can’t be behind closed doors, the American people, all of us, Republicans, Democrats, citizens and journalists have to hear what’s happening."

"You’re absolutely right and there will be a public phase," Swalwell replied.

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Rudy Giuliani is looking for a lawyer — after saying he didn’t need one: report

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On Wednesday, CNN reported that President Donald Trump's lawyer Rudy Giuliani is looking for a defense attorney to represent him.

This report comes after Giuliani said last week that he would not seek legal representation unless he believed he needed it.

Giuliani is currently under criminal investigation for the scheme he apparently helped facilitate in the Ukraine, where Trump withheld military aid in the fight against Russia while demanding their leaders investigate former Vice President Joe Biden and the Democratic National Committee.

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