Rick Perry says being gay is like being an alcoholic

The governor of Texas and possible 2016 candidate hasn't made up his mind about "conversion" therapy, either

Published June 12, 2014 1:48PM (EDT)

Rick Perry                            (NBC News)
Rick Perry (NBC News)

Speaking to the Commonwealth Club of California while promoting Texas business in the Golden State, Gov. Rick Perry answered a question about whether homosexuality is a disorder by comparing being gay to being an alcoholic.

"Whether or not you feel compelled to follow a particular lifestyle or not, you have the ability to decide not to do that," Perry answered, reiterating a longtime favorite argument of the anti-LGBT right that sexual orientation is a choice.

"I may have the genetic coding that I'm inclined to be an alcoholic," Perry went on to say, "but I have the desire not to do that, and I look at the homosexual issue the same way."

According to the San Francisco Chronicle, Perry was also asked at one point to weigh in on gay "conversion" therapy, a controversial practice that's already been banned for licensed professionals in New Jersey and California and is being considered by the New York Assembly.

No doubt aware that Republicans in his state recently promoted what they call "reparative" therapy in the party platform, Perry demurred, merely saying he could not speak authoritatively as to whether the attempt to "cure" LGBTQ people through therapy was effective.

During his 2012 run for president, Perry and his aides reportedly threatened to sue the Huffington Post if it published an article on rumors that Perry himself is homosexual. HuffPo ultimately decided to kill the story because, according to Arianna Huffington, there was "simply no there there."

By Elias Isquith

Elias Isquith is a former Salon staff writer.

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