In a “Keeping Them Honest” segment on his Anderson Cooper 360 show that seemed more like an editorial on the validity of “ex-gay” therapy than a debate with his guest, Anderson Cooper effectively countered just about every point a Texas politician made in defending the widely discredited practice.
Bryan Hughes, a Republican state representative in Texas, appeared on the show Wednesday to discuss his state party’s adoption last week of a platform opposing any laws restricting this type of therapy. When Hughes tried to argue that it was important to leave the option of so-called reparative therapy open to families, Cooper responded with a long list of professional organizations that have condemned the practice, including the American Psychiatric Association and the American Psychological Association.
Hughes also tried to claim that the platform committee had heard both sides of the debate, but Cooper called him out here as well, noting that some gay groups in attendance at the vote had reported that speakers in favor of the language were heard by the committee, but debate on the issue was closed before those in opposition had a chance to speak.
Probably the most pointed shot of all, though, came when Hughes claimed, “No one is saying God doesn’t love people as they are. I mean, there’s nothing in the platform about that, and no one is trying to take that position. Every one of us makes mistakes, makes decisions they’re not proud of.” Cooper responded, “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.”
Watch the full segment below.