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

Wait, before you go…

If you're reading this, you probably already know that non-profit, independent journalism is under threat worldwide. Independent news sites are overshadowed by larger heavily funded mainstream media that inundate us with hype and noise that barely scratch the surface. We believe that our readers deserve to know the full story. Truthdig writers bravely dig beneath the headlines to give you thought-provoking, investigative reporting and analysis that tells you what’s really happening and who’s rolling up their sleeves to do something about it.

Like you, we believe a well-informed public that doesn’t have blind faith in the status quo can help change the world. Your contribution of as little as $5 monthly or $35 annually will make you a groundbreaking member and lays the foundation of our work.

Support Truthdig