June 18th, 2014
08:13 PM ET
7 years ago

Perry sticks by alcoholism and homosexuality comparison

(CNN) - Texas Gov. Rick Perry stood by his recent comments comparing homosexuality to alcoholism.

Appearing on CNN's "Crossfire" on Wednesday, Perry was asked by co-host Stephanie Cutter whether he believes homosexuality is a disease.

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"I think my position has been fairly clear on that for a substantial period of time," Perry said, pivoting quickly to the economy as a more pressing issue facing the United States.

Christie: Perry is 'wrong' on homosexuality-alcoholism comparison

The focus should be on American jobs, Perry said, "and that is not on these social issues.”

"I think the social issues should be decided state-by-state rather than being something in Washington, D.C. to try to make one-size-fits-all."

At a speech last week 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 during that event, immediately sparking backlash from Democrats and gay rights organizations.

Asked repeatedly Wednesday on CNN about the controversial comparison, Perry did not elaborate further on his views on homosexuality.

"I got asked a question and I responded the way that I have before,” he said.

More from Crossfire: Perry weighs in on U.S. options in Iraq

Filed under: 2016 • Gay rights • Rick Perry
soundoff (566 Responses)
  1. Pad

    Perry is cooked. Let's talk about Abbott and the rest of the Texas GOP that decided 'repairative therapy' is in order for homosexuals. That they have a choice about being gay. Let's advertize and talk about that before Abbott gets elected governor. Make Texas look at the direction they are dragging their residents...
    While I agree that repairative therapy is a ridiculous and insulting notion, if people want to voluntarily go to such quackery, we should let them. We let people go to astrologers and psychics and witch doctors. This is no different. By trying to prevent them from voluntarily going to such therapy, we restrict freedoms - two wrongs don't make a right. Obviously, as soon as they start trying to send children at all or adults involuntarily, we have an issue to stop.

    June 19, 2014 02:28 pm at 2:28 pm |
  2. John Paul

    Perry is a joke. His candidacy for president of the United States is not. George Bush was a joke and he was appointed president by the Supreme Court and won a second term because of fixed votes in Ohio. Perry would dismantle our country and leave it in worse shape than Bush and his ersatz VP Dick Cheney. Notice that he is now wearing fashionable glasses to make him appear to have some intelligence. Glasses can't hide stupid. Glasses can't hide racist.

    June 19, 2014 02:29 pm at 2:29 pm |
  3. Wake Up People! Many Rivers to cross.....

    DRJJ says:
    June 19, 2014 02:11 pm at 2:11 pm
    Is it loving to say nothing and let gays live a risky lifestyle or telling them how dangerous the lifestyle is? CDC says 5 times more likely to die of aids and something like 27,000 new cases of aids last year.

    And that's their business, not yours. Gay people are human too and deserve the same rights that any other American has. If the GOP would stop trying to restrict their rights maybe it wouldn't be an issue all the time. Personally I could care less what others do. The GOP needs to learn this.

    June 19, 2014 02:36 pm at 2:36 pm |
  4. Legal Eagle

    I really don't think Republican Texas Governor Rick Perry cares what the left thinks about him, or about his comments.
    He feels all Democrats – and other left-leaners – are delusional and out to destroy America as we know it.
    On some issues he is accurate... on others he is the one who is delusional.

    June 19, 2014 02:36 pm at 2:36 pm |
  5. ezra

    John Paul that is a lie. Bush had the majority of votes in Fl and the electoral votes over all. You are a liar and a deceiver.

    June 19, 2014 02:39 pm at 2:39 pm |
  6. betty

    In other words, he believes it is a choice. I wonder when he chose to be straight?

    June 19, 2014 02:39 pm at 2:39 pm |
  7. Javier

    Don't know. Assume a Dad comes out as gay after having 2 sons – then Dad marries a Man to live with his two sons – does the constant exposure of the fathers gay friends and gay husband have an influence on the young boys? Do the boys have a higher probability of becoming gay? Would dad prefer his boys became proud gay men?
    Why do countries like Thailand have such an extremely high percentage of gays and lesbians – is their behavior promoting people's preferences?

    June 19, 2014 02:39 pm at 2:39 pm |
  8. mensaman

    Those with the liberal bias or favor gays in all argument did not listen to the man, Perry, or dissect his point. They all just "went off" on him.
    From a scientific standpoint, his position can be argued, just as those who believe homosexuality is rooted in other spaces, like environment or emotional trauma or in genetics.
    Science has been murky on the roots of homosexual behavior. Many theories, but none conclusive.
    Yes, you can declare you were "born this way" but what does that mean scientifically?
    Perry's point is that homosexuality is a genetic predisposition that can be controlled by force of will, a systematic plan and strong emotional support from others. This is similar to how alcoholics deal with their genetic proclivity.
    Homosexuals today embrace their behaviors and do not wish to control or alter them.
    As a scientist. I wish to know the scientific facts as to what causes 3% of the world to move in this direction.
    The University of Padua has done some excellent studies but they are just theories and ideas and indicators.

    June 19, 2014 02:40 pm at 2:40 pm |
  9. TruthT

    So many hypocrites. This is what it comes down to. You fight for your right to say you believe a certain thing to be the truth and do not be discriminated against, hated or ridiculed for that belief. Yet if someone has a belief contrary to your belief you ridicule them, spew hatred and criticism at them and discriminate at them. He has a right to his belief, I have a right to my belief and you have a right to your belief. You are a hypocrite to attack him for his belief. Pure and simple. If you are honest you will admit to that.

    June 19, 2014 02:41 pm at 2:41 pm |
  10. od

    I have to admit. I agree with everthing he says, but it is useless. Gays are going to get everything they want and more. They want to run the world and they want everone to be and think like them. I just don't get a man being attracted to another man. Its scary to think about.
    I just try and stay private and avoid them as much as possible. If I am in the prescence on someone who is homosexueal, I simply walk or drive away without saying a word, they make me uncomfortable.

    Have a blessed day.

    June 19, 2014 02:42 pm at 2:42 pm |
  11. NSL

    So, Educated American, just what rights are "Gays" taking away from everyone else?

    1. When you're in business to serve the public, you're in business to serve the public. Bakers who refuse to sell a wedding cake to anyone are illegally discriminating. That's it. If you don't want to sell your wares to anyone who is willing to pay the price (as quoted to all others) you shouldn't be in business.

    2. You've lumped Freedoms and Rights together and asked only about Freedoms. I'll separate them because they are different. As for Freedoms, how about the Freedom to Marry who they wish as adults. Is that specific enough for you. And don't give me the baloney about it's trampling on the religious rights of people who don't believe in it. Marriage is a state licensed civil contract in every US state. Gays are rightly demanding they not be excluded from that Freedom to marry as licensed by the states. It's not their fault the states long ago decided to call it by the same name as religions.

    As to rights, it's simple, by being married, adults are in line for thousands of benefits, privileges, and responsibilities which single people don't get. Gays are rightly demanding they can get those benefits, privileges and responsibilities currently denied to them.

    Quite simply, they want to same freedoms and rights guaranteed to every American under the US Constitution. Is that specific enough for you?

    June 19, 2014 02:42 pm at 2:42 pm |
  12. Texan

    I am so glad he ran for president in the last election . Now the rest of the country knows what we in Texas knows and that he is an idiot

    June 19, 2014 02:47 pm at 2:47 pm |
  13. pat

    The official positions of the American Psychiatric Association and the American Psychological Association: Same-sex sexual and romantic attractions, feelings, and behaviors are normal and positive variations of human sexuality.
    What qualifies Perry to decide what is a disease?

    June 19, 2014 02:50 pm at 2:50 pm |
  14. Raoul Duke, Doctor of Journalism

    "On some issues he is accurate... on others he is the one who is delusional." We must not put someone in charge of decision-making who is delusional. You end up outlawing pink elephants and dressing the cops in clown suits, or even shutting down the only bridge at rush hour. I don't mind if they lean right but I mind when they are preparing for a Martian invasion or claiming the President is a "Socialist" when he obviously isn't. Madmen in charge of countries are very dangerous. Cf. Cheney or Saddam Hussein.

    June 19, 2014 02:53 pm at 2:53 pm |
  15. Gays want it both ways

    Under Perry:
    TEXAS – biggest job growth in thew nation, companies moving to Texas in droves because of pro-business attitudes, big oil/energy production, NO state income tax, pro 2nd amendment – billions in state budget surplus.
    LIBERAL STATES/CITIES (NYC,CALIF, CHICAGO, DETROIT, etc) – Severe job and manufacturing losses, crime through the roof due to gun control, state income taxes, and unfriendly business environments – financial disasters.
    He must be doing something right – How's YOUR state doing?

    June 19, 2014 02:54 pm at 2:54 pm |
  16. HeMustBeGay

    When people say that homosexuality can be treated (like alcoholism) the first thing that comes to mind is that they are suppressing their own feelings. Think about it. If Rick Perry has had sexual thoughts about men, but has suppressed his feelings, then to him it's a "choice". He has chosen not to act on it. That's what we call "Being in the Closet". It wouldn't make him straight, but rather a gay man that fears what society will think of him if he lives the life he was born to live. Reparative Therapy can teach someone to "suppress" their natural feelings, but it will NEVER make them straight. Anyone who thinks this will work is not only ignorant, but hurtful.

    So the next time someone talks about Reparative Therapy ask them more about why they think it will work. Ask them if they've had "those thoughts" about someone of the same sex and chosen to suppress them. Often times it's those that scream the loudest about others that are the ones with the secret. It's the old "Look at them, not me!" trick. They think that if they say how awful the Gay "lifestyle" is that people won't notice that they are gay too. They are crying out for help, so lend an ear and be kind.

    June 19, 2014 02:55 pm at 2:55 pm |
  17. Dave

    Listen...most of us really don't care who you screw in private. We do however care when you screw someone over in the Public.

    June 19, 2014 03:00 pm at 3:00 pm |
  18. Truth

    It's irrelevant that gays are born that way. There are many things in life that people are born with yet people make fun of and is looked down upon. I'm referring to physical and mental characteristics. Physical examples are being short, having a big nose or ears, being hairy, or having a small penis. A mental characteristic is intelligence, which is mostly genetic and early childhood but yet we have these derogatory words for people with low level intelligence like stupid, dumb, idiot, etc. That's life so get over it.. A man is supposed to be strong and masculie so when one has feminine interests and interests they will get made fun of.

    June 19, 2014 03:01 pm at 3:01 pm |
  19. Anonymous

    Gay is not a choice. It's not a lifestyle. It's hard wired in the brain. Just like straight people are hard wired to be straight. Gay people were born gay and have been gay since before they were born, since they were in the womb.

    Did you "choose" to be straight? Were you "influenced" to be straight? Is "straight" a lifestyle or a choice?

    June 19, 2014 03:02 pm at 3:02 pm |
  20. Wake Up People! Many Rivers to cross.....

    In Michigan, 25 Republicans have decided to fight back at the Republikkkan AG, Bill Schuette, who is trying to uphold the gay marriage ban. I don't know what's going on but that's the latest.

    June 19, 2014 03:02 pm at 3:02 pm |
  21. CG W

    Gay is not a choice. It's not a lifestyle. It's hard wired in the brain. Just like straight people are hard wired to be straight. Gay people were born gay and have been gay since before they were born, since they were in the womb.

    Did you "choose" to be straight? Were you "influenced" to be straight? Is "straight" a lifestyle or a choice?

    June 19, 2014 03:04 pm at 3:04 pm |
  22. AprilElaine

    Yes, US Texans are ready for him to not be our governor any longer. He does NOT speak on behalf of Texans. He's an ignorant fool and I have no idea how he was elected to be our governor for so long. Ridiculous.

    June 19, 2014 03:08 pm at 3:08 pm |
  23. Bob

    ""I think the social issues should be decided state-by-state ..,." Translation: We should be allowed to violate the rights of whoever we want. This thinking he would also bring back the Jim Crowe laws.

    June 19, 2014 03:09 pm at 3:09 pm |
  24. indigo

    yes, these are my real shoulders

    June 19, 2014 03:09 pm at 3:09 pm |
  25. maty

    This guy is going to talk himself into irrelevance.

    June 19, 2014 03:10 pm at 3:10 pm |
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