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Cooper Goes Head-to-Head With Texas Republican Over Conversion Therapy

by Jason St. Amand
National News Editor
Friday Jun 13, 2014

On his program "AC360" Wednesday, CNN's Anderson Cooper confronted Texas Republican State Rep. Bryan Hughes over his party's decision to advocate conversion therapy in its platform, Mediaite reports.

The Texas GOP platform committee voted to change language to support "ex-gay" therapy, which aims to "turn" gay men and women straight, last week and stated that no laws should ban the controversial practice, which has been proven to be harmful by a number of psychiatric organizations.

When Cooper took on Hughes in his "Keeping Them Honest" segment, the lawmaker said, however, that there are medical organizations that support "both sides" of the issue. Cooper said he could give Hughes a list of organizations and doctors who find the therapy harmful and listed: "The American Academy of Pediatrics, the American Counseling Association, the American Psychiatric Association, the American Psychological Association, the American School Counselors' Association, the National Association of School Psychologists, National Association of Social Workers. They represent half a million mental health professionals."

Hughes just smirked.

Cooper then shows Hughes a clip of Alan Chambers, the former leader of the now defunct Exodus International, telling Cooper that he regrets his support for conversion therapy, especially because it characterizes gay people as less worthy in the eyes of God.

"No one is saying that God doesn't love people as they are," Hughes responded. "Every one of us makes mistakes, makes decisions we are not proud of."

Cooper fired back: "The fact that you view being gay, or you characterize it, as a mistake, or something that should be changed, really kind of maybe says more about your position than what your words actually say."

You can watch the clip below:


  • Wayne M., 2014-06-16 21:15:33

    I cannot help but notice that Hughes and the Texas Republicans advocate that this quack therapy and fraudulent practice should be defended under the guise of "freedom of speech", but when LGBT groups wanted to present an alternative view, they were silenced on the grounds that "people wanted to go home".

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