Texas Republicans call homosexuality an ‘abnormal lifestyle choice’ in new party platform

The state’s Republican party released a platform outlining goal of eroding LGBTQ2S+ rights

The Texas Republican party set aside its dog whistles and stated its beliefs plainly: “homosexuality is an abnormal lifestyle choice.”

These words are found in the Texas GOP’s new platform, which the party adopted at its biennial conference in Houston on June 18, according to politics news site The Hill. Outlining the party’s guiding principles, its platform includes a section called “Homosexuality and Gender Issues” that details the party’s goal of stripping LGBTQ2S+ people of their basic rights. 

“We believe there should be no granting of special legal entitlements or creation of special status for homosexual behaviour, regardless of state of origin,” says the 40-page document located on the Texas GOP’s official website. “We oppose any criminal or civil penalties against those who oppose homosexuality out of faith, conviction or belief in traditional values. No one should be granted special status based on their LGBTQ+ identification.”

The newly enacted platform particularly targets trans youth. It seeks to ban medical providers from offers gender-affirming healthcare to trans minors, while empowering conversion therapists to provide conversion treatment to people of any age experiencing gender dysphoria or “unwanted same-sex attraction.” 

Additionally, the Texas GOP advocates that inmates be jailed according to their “biological sex.” Research has shown that 40 percent of trans inmates face sexual assault each year—the majority of whom are not housed in alignment with their lived gender.

“We oppose all efforts to validate transgender identity,” the platform says. “We oppose the use of taxpayer funds for any type of medical gender dysphoria treatments or sex-change operations and/or treatments. No federal, state, insurance or probate monies may be allocated for the use of such treatment.”

In addition to targeting LGBTQ2S+ people, the Texas GOP platform also puts forward a number of extreme, far-right ideas—claiming that President Joe Biden didn’t actually win the 2020 election, and advocating that inclusive sex education and critical race theory be banned from schools. It also says that Texas should vote on seceding from the United States, that gun control should be limited and that the Voting Rights Act of 1965 should be repealed. 

“We can’t compromise with Democrats who have a different and incompatible vision for our future,” Matt Rinaldi, Texas’s GOP chairman said, per the Austin NPR affiliate KUT. “We need to be a bold and unapologetic conservative party, ready to go on offence and win the fight for our country.”

The anti-LGBTQ2S+ policy recommendations found in the platform echo recent attacks from Texas Republicans. In 2021, Texas lawmakers introduced more than 70 pieces of legislation seeking to roll back protections for queer and trans people, the largest number of discriminatory bills in the state’s history. Among these were proposals to ban trans youth from playing school sports in alignment with their gender identity (which passed) and to jail parents who allow their children to transition (which didn’t).


While the Texas Legislature is out of session in 2022, the campaign to make life more difficult for LGBTQ2S+ Texans has not stopped. In February, Gov. Greg Abbott ordered the state’s child welfare agency to investigate the parents of trans children for “abuse,” and ahead of the 2023 legislative session, Texas State Rep. Bryan Slaton prefiled a bill earlier this month that would ban children from attending drag shows.

The increase in anti-LGBTQ2S+ rhetoric has had devastating consequences outside of U.S. state legislatures. A week ago, violent far-right groups tried to disrupt two Pride events in Idaho and California—leading to several arrests.

Perhaps unsurprisingly, the attacks on LGBTQ2S+ people include members of the Texas GOP’s own party. The Log Cabin Republicans, a national gay conservative group based in Washington, D.C., was banned from renting a booth at this weekend’s convention, according to VICE magazine. It’s unclear if members of the organization were still permitted to attend otherwise.

In a statement, Log Cabin Republicans president Charles Moran called the decision “not just narrow-minded, but politically short-sighted.” He said that the administration of former President Donald Trump “made clear that LGBT conservatives are welcome in the America First movement and the Republican Party.”

“It’s clear that inclusion wins,” Moran said. 

Contrary to Moran’s statement, Trump meticulously worked to dismantle equality in the U.S. while being praised for being more tolerant on LGBTQ2S+ issues than previous Republican presidents. During his time in office, his administration banned trans people from enlisting in the military, rolled back affirming guidelines for trans students, and fought to strip non-discrimination protections for trans people seeking health care. 

A GLAAD survey found that just 14 percent of LGBTQ2S+ voters backed Trump in the 2020 election—a historically low number for a Republican presidential candidate.

Jackie Richardson is a freelance writer based in Western New York. She has worked at The Los Angeles Review of Books, The Daily Hampshire Gazette, and The Sophian.

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