June 12th, 2014
09:03 AM ET
2 months ago

Rick Perry compares homosexuality to alcoholism

(CNN) - A comparison between alcoholism and homosexuality by Texas Gov. Rick Perry is raising eyebrows.

At a speech in San Francisco, the longtime Republican governor - who ran for the White House in 2012 and is considering another bid in 2016 - was asked whether he thought homosexuality was a disorder.

"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," Perry said.

According to CNN affiliate KPIX, some people in the pro-Perry audience gasped when they heard the governor's remarks.

Perry's address to the Commonwealth of California Club was mostly focused on economic issues. The Texas governor is in California as part of a trip to try to bring jobs and business to the Lone Star State.

Perry's comments also came just days after Texas Republicans, meeting at their state convention, approved language in their party platform that includes support for voluntary psychological "therapy" targeted at converting homosexuals to heterosexuals. That stance stands in contrast to both California and New Jersey, which have banned such therapy.

Separately, a federal judge in February struck down the Texas ban on same-sex marriage, but the ruling has been stayed as it is appealed.

Spokeswoman Lucy Nashed underscored the governor's belief that marriage should be between one man and one woman.

"He has been clear on his position that each state has the right to define marriage to reflect the views of its citizens," she said.

The Human Rights Campaign, a leading organization for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender equality, hit back at Perry's comments in a statement on Wednesday.

"Although he may not have the 'genetic coding' to think before he speaks, Rick Perry, M.D. should have a real conversation with actual doctors before voicing his expertise on these issues,” said HRC's Fred Sainz.

“Every major mental health and medical organization in the country has condemned practices aimed at changing a person’s sexual orientation.”

CNN Political Editor Paul Steinhauser contributed to this story


Filed under: 2012 • 2016 • Rick Perry • Texas
soundoff (43 Responses)
  1. Wake Up People! Many Rivers to cross.....

    They just can't help themselves....

    June 12, 2014 09:14 am at 9:14 am |
  2. R Thomas Berner

    You have to wonder if Perry isn't a borderline compassionate conservative.

    June 12, 2014 09:14 am at 9:14 am |
  3. HenryMiller

    Writing as a former Texan, this guy is an embarrassment to Texas.

    June 12, 2014 09:18 am at 9:18 am |
  4. patNY

    I love how non-gays seem to know why us gays are gay. Why don't you just listen to us, instead of the talking snake book nonsense – it's as much of a disorder as the color of your skin. Have a nice day!

    June 12, 2014 09:21 am at 9:21 am |
  5. smith

    Why try and figure out why people do what they do. This is the land of the free and as long as someone isn`t breaking the law who really cares.

    June 12, 2014 09:36 am at 9:36 am |
  6. Marcus (from...?)

    Given the effect of his many (failed) policies to 'improve' education had on Texas' schools, I am REALLY not surprised!

    June 12, 2014 09:37 am at 9:37 am |
  7. X

    Non news. What he said it not only not controversial unless you "squint" and try to make it so- but no one cares but those concerned with PC above all else (aka you other 5)

    June 12, 2014 09:38 am at 9:38 am |
  8. Ethan

    This Perry acts like he's five. Shooting a pistol up in the air at a campaign rally like a 1870s cowboy and now this? Wonder if if he is just exercising his right to be an idiot....

    June 12, 2014 09:40 am at 9:40 am |
  9. Denise

    What, like one can't get enough? I wonder if his wife has ever looked in his closet? Keep this clowns front and center....

    June 12, 2014 09:43 am at 9:43 am |
  10. g

    perry is as close to stupid as one can get, check the drinking water in Texas

    June 12, 2014 09:43 am at 9:43 am |
  11. jo clo

    I would like to thank Rick Perry for helping the republicans sink their ship faster and faster.

    June 12, 2014 09:43 am at 9:43 am |
  12. Durundal

    Oh look, the teabilly just exhibited yet again a fundamental misunderstanding of science and the world around him. People in office need to be more educated than this populist buffoon

    June 12, 2014 09:45 am at 9:45 am |
  13. sonny chapman

    Gay folks can function just fine. Alcoholics have trouble functioning. Recovered Alcoholics can run into problems(George W).

    June 12, 2014 09:46 am at 9:46 am |
  14. DocHollywood

    ".............................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," Perry said........................."
    Just as the poor has a genetic code to eat, but they can choose not to. I believe that's the republican solution to poverty.
    I hate to tell him this, but those glasses he's wearing to make him look smart hasn't really affected his intelligence. He's still as dumb as a fence post.

    June 12, 2014 09:47 am at 9:47 am |
  15. Wake Up People! Many Rivers to cross.....

    The male version of Sarah Palin....

    June 12, 2014 09:48 am at 9:48 am |
  16. Ruth E.

    So is he saying that a 12-step program and an active prayer life would turn him gay?

    June 12, 2014 09:49 am at 9:49 am |
  17. Dead Bear

    Does it really surprise anyone that someone from the bastion of intellectual thought otherwise known as Texas would make such stupid remarks? This guy has lunch with Ted Cruz after all. That's gotta kill more than a few brain cells.

    June 12, 2014 09:49 am at 9:49 am |
  18. Asturiano

    Mental incompetence is a Republican disorder

    June 12, 2014 09:51 am at 9:51 am |
  19. Aunty Perry

    We probably have a gene for every human behavior we ever heard of. But we don't enact all those behaviors. BTW: Forget about the equation between behavior and skin color, they are just not the same.

    June 12, 2014 09:51 am at 9:51 am |
  20. Denise

    Is there a 12 step program for STUPID???

    June 12, 2014 09:51 am at 9:51 am |
  21. Malory Archer

    smith
    Why try and figure out why people do what they do. This is the land of the free and as long as someone isn`t breaking the law who really cares.

    ++++++++

    Right on smith – and we on the left hope the rick perrys of the American electorate keep it up!

    June 12, 2014 09:53 am at 9:53 am |
  22. 1twinsfan

    Perry may have the genetic coding that he's inclined to be stupid but he chooses to be.

    June 12, 2014 09:58 am at 9:58 am |
  23. Malory Archer

    But... but... Hillary Clinton said Abraham Lincoln was a Senator when we ALL KNOW he was a Congressman, and and we ALL KNOW that's sooooooooo much more inflammatory than rick perry comparing homosexuality to alcoholism!

    June 12, 2014 09:59 am at 9:59 am |
  24. Larry

    Buy that statement must have rattled the Libtards

    June 12, 2014 10:01 am at 10:01 am |
  25. jj

    Agree with him totally. Have been using this same analogy for years. You deal with either disorder with compassion and abstinence.

    June 12, 2014 10:03 am at 10:03 am |
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