Speed Reads

The Daily Showdown

Jon Stewart vulgarly mocks the Texas GOP for pushing 'pray the gay away' therapy

The Texas Republican Party isn't exactly marching in step with the rest of the country, or the medical/psychology community, when it comes to homosexuality and gay rights. Earlier this month, Jon Stewart noted on Tuesday night's Daily Show, the Texas GOP endorsed the widely discredited "reparative" therapy in its official party platform. Also called "gay conversion" or "pray the gay away" therapy, the practice attempts to make gay people act heterosexual.

Texas Gov. Rick Perry recently suggested that while people may have a genetic predisposition toward being gay, they can choose not to be gay, like people predisposed toward alcoholism can decline to drink. That puts him in line with a conversion therapy practitioner who, in a clip Stewart played, protests that the goal isn't to remove the gay from people but rather bring out their heterosexuality. That's "like giving a woman a C-section whose not pregnant," said an exasperated Stewart. "You won't find what you're looking for, but you will leave a scar."

Perry deserves all the mockery he's getting over the gay-alcoholic analogy, and the Texas GOP is wrong to endorse a school of therapy that, at the very least, does more harm than good. But Stewart probably would have made his case more persuasively without going overboard on the gratuitous insults and scatological humor. --Peter Weber