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That Time the Texas Republicans Fell into a Time Warp

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I mean, it's the only possible explanation, really. If not a time warp, then perhaps an actual time machine? A space-time-continuum defying telephone booth? A flux-capacitating DeLorean? I guess there are a few options, after all.

But it's definitely one of those. Because there simply isn't any other way to explain how, in 2014, the Texas Republican Party legitimately believed its hot-off-the-presses policy platform should include "reparative therapy" for gays. (By way of reminder for those of you boring folk whose feet have been firmly planted in present day, that's the psychological therapy targeted at converting homosexuals into heterosexuals.)

Needless to say, there are a few glitches with the platform. But the one that jumps out front and center is that it has been almost five years since the American Psychological Association -- the largest scientific and professional organization representing psychology in the U.S. -- officially denounced "so-called reparative therapy." The APA's task force report found that such efforts could "cause or exacerbate distress and poor mental health in some individuals, including depression and suicidal thoughts."

Then there was the time the former poster child for reparative therapy and the "ex-gay movement" himself, John Paulk, issued a formal apology for his involvement in the effort, admitting that not only does he not believe that reparative therapy changes sexual orientation, but it actually "does great harm to many people."

Finally, seven months ago, a Benedictine monk described reparative therapy efforts as "fundamentally destructive," explaining that holding up the idea that homosexuality is "an illness to be cured is certainly a mistake..."

And so -- time travel, right?

Though we can rule out the phone booth and the DeLorean in light of the fact that the platform language that focused on "curing" homosexuals was ratified by approximately 7,000 delegates without any debate at all, and you simply can't fit that many people into a time travel device of that size. But certainly we're left with the possibility that the whole state fell into a wormhole. Crazier things have happened. You know, like trying to "cure" homosexuality.

Except that theory doesn't explain Wendy Davis, the Texan gubernatorial candidate whose pink sneakers reached icon status during her historic, marathon filibuster of abortion-related legislation last year. She responded to the platform with the tweet: "...LGBT Texans #DontNeedFixin."

And it doesn't explain how even the current sitting Republican governor, Rick Perry, isn't sure the therapy works. Which is a relief, given that all the major mental health professions have rejected the view of homosexuality on which the therapy is based.

In any event, in welcoming the Texas GOP back to present day, it seems only right to catch them up on a few things they've missed since they've been gone. For example:

In roughly the last 12 months, nine states in the nation have legalized gay marriage. In other words, roughly 20 percent of the entire country has taken the position that the only kind of therapy the gay community might need is the marital counseling straight folks often do.

At least eight states have proposed legislation to outlaw reparative therapy. Most noteworthy of those who signed such legislation: Republican (sometimes) darling, Governor Chris Christie.

And this couple joined the ever-growing number of families who have brought a child into their home to love and nurture and protect, hoping against hope to be able to adopt him. Oh, and by the way, they're gay. Not that it matters.

So here we are, Texas GOP. Welcome back. And before you switch Netflix on to check out all the major flicks you missed during your time travels, you might want to start with the newspapers and bring your party up to speed with the rest of the country. And today, with the nation's eyes on you, the clock is most certainly ticking.