Rick Perry: Homosexuality Is Like Alcoholism

If anyone thought that Texas Governor Rick Perry might try to keep quiet between now in a possible 2016 run, think again.  He came out spreading falsehoods about homosexuality and the development of sexual orientation.  Here’s more from 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.

Whatever Mr. Perry’s particular internal vices, he’s clearly behind the times on understanding sexual orientation.  And though he obviously has the right to believe whatever he wants as a private citizen, it’s important to know that saying these things in his official capacity as Governor is harmful to thousands of his constituents.  Many young Texans are taking the journey to adulthood as we all do, and for those that are LGBT, they may be struggling to figure out why they don’t match society’s well-defined expectations.  Suggesting to those young people that they need to “repair” themselves isn’t just wrong… it is downright dangerous.

In relation to current Texas politics, it’s no surprise that Perry’s comments sent a scurry through both main political parties, especially the candidates for the Governor’s job.  As Lone Star Q reports, Perry has helped to reveal another stark contrast between GOP contender Greg Abbott and his Democratic opponent Wendy Davis…

Democrat Wendy Davis would support and sign a law banning reparative therapy for minors, according to a spokesman for her campaign.

But Davis’ Republican opponent in the Texas governor’s race, Attorney General Greg Abbott, isn’t taking a position on the issue.

At its state convention in Fort Worth last week, the Texas GOP amended its platform to include support for reparative therapy “for those patients seeking healing and wholeness from their homosexual lifestyle.”

In response to the headline-grabbing plank, a spokesman for Davis’ campaign confirmed this week in an email to Lone Star Q that the Democratic gubernatorial nominee would back a statewide ban on reparative therapy for minors similar to laws that have passed in California and New Jersey.

Meanwhile, Abbott dodged a question about his party’s support for reparative therapy during a visit to East Texas on Wednesday. KYTX Channel 19 reports that Abbott “stopped short of condemning” the reparative therapy plank but said the issue isn’t near the top of his agenda.

“First is jobs, second is schools, three is roads, transportation and water, and four is making sure our border is secure,” Abbott told KYTX reporter Field Sutton.

“It sounds like reparative therapy is pretty far down on that list,” Sutton said.

“Well, if government does what it’s supposed to do, and then gets out of people’s way, everyone is a whole lot happier,” Abbott responded.

Try as he may, Abbott won’t be able to run from this question much longer.  It’s going to keep coming up in interviews and other public formats.  But the real worry for the Abbott campaign here is this… regardless of what delegates at the Republican Party convention vote for, the state of Texas is still moving at lightning speed in support of LGBT rights and marriage equality.  As we see here, the GOP is providing the ammo… but it’s up to Democrats to make sure these shameful messages get out to the public at large.  If more people knew that the only thing standing in the way of marriage for thousands of Texas’ LGBT couples was Greg Abbott’s emergency stay, maybe they would be motivated to show up for Davis in November.  From a “life” standpoint, it is right for Democrats to stand against these harmful views.  From a political standpoint, this is an issue that can motivate Davis’ base, depress GOP turnout, and really effect the outcome of the election.  Let’s hope that the campaigns and Battleground Texas figure that out.

For more on this topic, check out the great work of fellow bloggers Texpatriate and Off the Kuff.  I’ll probably have later thoughts and developments as well.