Rick Perry: Being Gay Like Being an Alcoholic
Perry's comment 'drew murmur of disbelief'
By Arden Dier, Newser Staff
Posted Jun 12, 2014 10:03 AM CDT
Texas Gov. Rick Perry, center, talks to reporters in Sacramento, Calif., Tuesday, June 10, 2014.   (AP Photo/Rich Pedroncelli)

(Newser) – Rick Perry met with the Commonwealth Club of California yesterday and spoke on everything from Eric Cantor's defeat to homosexuality—in particular, sharing his belief that the latter can be overcome. "Whether or not you feel compelled to follow a particular lifestyle or not, you have the ability to decide not to do that," the potential 2016 candidate 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 comments were in response to a moderator question on whether he thought being gay is a disorder, the San Francisco Chronicle reports.

CBS San Francisco notes his remarks drew gasps from a handful of audience members; the Chronicle notes a "murmur of disbelief" surfaced. The Washington Post points out the comment is a bit of a recycled one. Perry wrote in his 2008 book On My Honor, "Even if an alcoholic is powerless over alcohol once it enters his body, he still makes a choice to drink. And, even if someone is attracted to a person of the same sex, he or she still makes a choice to engage in sexual activity with someone of the same gender." On Cantor's defeat, Perry noted, "It's pretty simple: Spend plenty of time in your home district."

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Steven Diedesch
Jun 22, 2014 10:39 PM CDT
A friend of mine made the comment to the effect that, maybe, just maybe, Rick Perry was trying to extend an olive branch between low-income Southern Conservatives and the LGBT community. I thought about it for a moment, and it gave me pause as I prepared to open my second six-pack of Pabst for the evening. Maybe, I thought, just maybe, we are a little bit alike. THen I thought about what it might be like if it were another man I was giving a black eye tonight instead of my woman.
Jun 17, 2014 7:48 AM CDT
Next time some bone headed ignorant moron says homosexuality is an optional sexual preference then ask them if they think heterosexuality is an optional sexual preference. Man there are some incredibly stupid people out there. And in positions of power. Makes you cringe.
Jun 14, 2014 7:42 PM CDT
Sounds like Rick Perry needs to stop drinking.