Valley residents sound off on "reparative therapy" for gays

Former Hidalgo County Republican Party Chairman Hollis Rutledge Jr

The Texas Republican Party has adopted a party platform that includes "therapy" targeted at converting homosexuals to heterosexuals.

Sexual orientation is not a topic not too many people wanted to talk to us about on camera, but those who did, had very different views about the voluntary therapy to turn an individual straight.

Thousands of people gathered in Fort Worth for the Texas GOP Convention to vote on its upcoming platform. One of many topics was the discussion of "conversion" therapy, the belief that treatment can help turn homosexuals into heterosexuals.

"It TMs hard for me to react to that, I don TMt know what to think," said Hidalgo County resident Joe Pacheco.

Pacheco told Action4 News he thinks it strange for politicians to get involved in something so personal.

"I think it TMs a bad idea. I don TMt know how they can get --convince people, the gay lesbian community," said Pacheco.

Former Hidalgo County Republican Party Chairman Hollis Rutledge Jr. explained that this type of therapy is a counseling service no different than any other.

"The fact that we can provide that certainly doesn TMt, as far as I'm concerned, hinder anything. In fact, some people may want to use that form of availability of counseling if they so desire," said Rutledge.

Amy Cambell said she's glad to hear it is a voluntary service and agrees having a wider variety of resources to those seeking help is a good thing.

It is very difficult as it is to go from one state to another, so you need counseling. Everybody needs a little bit of help every now and then," Campbell said.

While people may have differing opinions on offering a voluntary "conversion therapy" to change an individual TMs sexual orientation. Most everyone agrees that as Americans, we have the right and freedom to make decisions to lead the life we choose.

"I think that politics should stay out of the picture," Campbell said.

"They don't impose their views on us and we don TMt impose our views on them," Pacheco said.

Two states, California and New Jersey, have already passed bills to outlaw this type of counseling therapy.

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