By Trudy Ring
Originally published on Advocate.com June 17 2014 5:00 AM ET
The man who claims responsibility for a portion of the Texas Republican Party’s platform addressing “ex-gay” therapy says he’s an ex-gay himself – and that in some ways food replaced “sexual sin” for him.
Jeremy Schwab, a former actor who founded a Dallas-based ex-gay ministry called Joel 2:25 International, took responsibility for the platform language opposing any restrictions on sexual orientation change therapy, reports Lone Star Q. California and New Jersey have barred state-licensed therapists from subjecting minors to such counseling, and a bill that that would do the same in New York is making its way through the legislature there.
In a post on his Facebook page, Schwab said, “I wrote a new plank for the GOP platform and it passed yesterday. It protects free speech, freedom of religion, and the right of self-determination [in] a specific area where liberals have been working to strip this right from many.”
He apparently refers to the following language: “We recognize the legitimacy and value of counseling which offers reparative therapy and treatment to patients who are seeking escape from the homosexual lifestyle. No laws or executive orders shall be imposed to limit or restrict access to this type of therapy.” The platform was adopted earlier this month.
Schwab, who has begun going by his first name only in some press interviews, now says this plank of the platform is being misunderstood. “I never meant it as a state endorsement or requirement” regarding ex-gay therapy, he told the Fort Worth Star-Telegram, where he was quoted as simply “Jeremy.”
“This is about allowing a therapist to work with a client voluntarily seeking change,” he continued. “I’d be horrified if somebody was forced into therapy. No therapist is ever going to work with a child against the child’s will.”
Schwab also wrote on his blog, My Journey, “There are many of us who experience Same-Sex Attraction, but do NOT want to embrace the modern ‘Gay’ label and have moral beliefs that mean Gay Relationships are NOT an option for us at all.”
Lone Star Q illustrated its article with a photo of Schwab shirtless, on which he commented, via Facebook, “This picture was taken about 7 years ago. It was BEFORE I came back to the Lord. I do not pose for pictures like this anyone for a variety of reasons – including the sin of vanity. Also though, (as some have pointed out). I think in some ways food replaced sexual sin for me and now I can’t even get into my OWN pants.” The food reference has since been edited out, but Lone Star Q has a screen shot of the original post.