June 12th, 2014
09:03 AM ET
9 years 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.

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"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. Gurgyl

    It's o.k, just produce more kids.

    June 12, 2014 10:03 am at 10:03 am |
  2. Tony in Maine

    Perry is incredibly stupid.

    But that's been said. The only thing similar about homosexuality and alcoholism is that they both describe human traits that cannot be reversed. Alcoholism is a disease and recognized as such by the AMA (pretty conservative crew) and is arrestable by those who are willing. Homosexuality is sexual preference and most people know it cannot become heterosexual by waving a wand or cross.besides which many gays have come to accept and llike themselves.

    Perry is beyond stupid.

    June 12, 2014 10:05 am at 10:05 am |
  3. Winning

    God I wish there was a way to keep this ignorant idiot out of my state and confine him to Texas with the other lunatics. I cannot believe he breathes the same air as me.

    June 12, 2014 10:12 am at 10:12 am |
  4. Rick McDaniel

    Perry simply is being led down the primrose path, on that issue, by religion. It will be his downfall.

    June 12, 2014 10:13 am at 10:13 am |
  5. Malory Archer

    Buy that statement must have rattled the Libtards


    Not as much as Hillary's statement rattled the Rethugliban.

    June 12, 2014 10:18 am at 10:18 am |
  6. Mr. Dank Stuff

    And the GOP dies a little more

    June 12, 2014 10:19 am at 10:19 am |
  7. rebisfat

    Who cares about the gays. They need to go back in the closet. Tired of hearing about them.

    June 12, 2014 10:19 am at 10:19 am |
  8. Boomer in Mo

    From a man who flunked out of Texas A&M, admittedly a pretty hard school, but still I doubt he knows little about science, genetics and psychology.

    June 12, 2014 10:22 am at 10:22 am |
  9. Silence DoGood

    Agree with him totally. Have been using this same analogy for years. You deal with either disorder with compassion and abstinence.
    And certainly all opinions are welcome in our society. The difference here is he is a politician that makes laws and regulations. When his religious opinion becomes law for everyone, it is destructive, restrictive of rights, and unconstitutional.

    June 12, 2014 10:23 am at 10:23 am |
  10. guest

    anti-gay therapy? Is this a ;the beatings will continue until moral improves' type of situation or what? Ignorant extremist is an apt label for this bozo.

    June 12, 2014 10:23 am at 10:23 am |
  11. Tim C

    He and "W" share a brain, apparently "W" is using it this week.

    June 12, 2014 10:23 am at 10:23 am |
  12. Samantha

    And yet everything he said was true. Would love to know if someone asked him a specific question about such. Straight individuals may have a desire to have sex out of wedlock as well; they have that imprint, but they either act on it or not. Gay people have the desire to have sex with individuals of the same sex as well obviously, they have that imprint and they either act on it or not. That is what he was saying, but I just don't get why (if no questions were posed to him) he would just volunteer to make that statement.

    June 12, 2014 10:25 am at 10:25 am |
  13. Chris-E...al

    They both do it because it feels good to THEM . And they like it right or wrong . Whatever both are proven to be unheathy .

    June 12, 2014 10:26 am at 10:26 am |
  14. blome Sarah blome

    Stay out of other peoples business, unless they are hurting you physically, if they are hurting you mentally then you are the WEAK one.

    June 12, 2014 10:28 am at 10:28 am |
  15. Phil Esteen

    Who cares about Rick Perry? He needs to go back in the closet. Tired of hearing from her...ahem...him.

    June 12, 2014 10:30 am at 10:30 am |
  16. guest

    People like rick perry need to make us very very wary of changing rules concerning teachers tenure and what not. If they clear away all these tenure rules, we can expect to see a mass firing of all teachers that dont agree with a given administration. With billboards quoting hitler about the future of our youth being put up by conservative parties, we must really think about what striking down tenure laws really means.

    June 12, 2014 10:31 am at 10:31 am |
  17. Rich

    Its more like a phobia, remembering that those practicing it are entitled to do so and those opposed are entitled to avoid it.

    June 12, 2014 10:32 am at 10:32 am |
  18. Sniffit

    Well, if he's right, they're still not as bad as stupid. Stupid is genetic....and poor Cowboy Fonzie lost the DNA lottery in spectacular fashion.

    June 12, 2014 10:37 am at 10:37 am |
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