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Texas Gov. Rick Perry: Homosexuality Is Like Alcoholism

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Posted on Jun 12, 2014

Gage Skidmore (CC-BY-SA)

He may have driven over state lines in a Tesla, but Texas Gov. Rick Perry again demonstrated that he is clearly living in another era—one that a vast swath of the country has already left behind—during a speech in San Francisco on Wednesday night at the Commonwealth Club of California.

Choosing an incongruous setting to make this kind of statement, Perry took up the Texas GOP’s stance on homosexuality in fielding questions about his party’s support of “reparative therapy” for GLBTQ Texans and offered his own pathology-oriented analogy about the (sigh) gay “lifestyle” (via SFGate):

In response to an audience question about it Wednesday night, Perry said he did not know whether the therapy worked.

Commonwealth Club interviewer Greg Dalton then asked him whether he believes homosexuality is a disorder.

“Whether or not you feel compelled to follow a particular lifestyle or not, you have the ability to decide not to do that,” Perry said. “I may have the genetic coding that I’m inclined to be an alcoholic, but I have the desire not to do that, and I look at the homosexual issue the same way.”

The large crowd gathered at the InterContinental Mark Hopkins hotel on Nob Hill included many Perry supporters. But the comment still drew a murmur of disbelief.

Perry couched the subject in a broader discussion about the need for individual states to make their own way when it comes to certain social and economic policies. Unsurprisingly, he wasn’t too keen on adopting the Golden State’s approach to curbing carbon dioxide emissions, but he was gung-ho about fracking.

—Posted by Kasia Anderson

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