Governor Perry compares homosexuality to alcoholism
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[June 13, 2014]
(Reuters) - Texas Governor Rick
Perry, a Republican presidential aspirant whose 2012 campaign was sunk
partly because of verbal slips, has compared homosexuality to
alcoholism, coming under fire again for an argument he has made
Perry, in an appearance Wednesday night in San Francisco at the
Commonwealth Club of California, was asked whether he believes
homosexuality was a disorder, according to local media reports.
"I may have the genetic coding that I'm inclined to be an alcoholic,
but I have the desire not to do that," Perry said in remarks
broadcast on the CBS affiliate. "And I look at the homosexual issue
in the same way."
A few people in the audience gasped in response, according to the
CBS report. In his 2008 book, "On My Honor," Perry made a similar
"From a scientific standpoint it's not a very apt analogy.
Homosexuality is not a mental disorder, alcoholism is a mental
disorder," said Jack Drescher, distinguished fellow of the American
Psychiatric Association and a clinical professor of psychiatry at
New York Medical College.
A representative for Perry was not immediately available for
Perry, who is seen as a possible presidential candidate in 2016, was
forced to exit the 2012 Republican race after several gaffes
including when he lost his train of thought during a debate and
could not recall which government departments he wanted to abolish.
The American Psychological Association has dismissed the idea that
sexual orientation is a mental disorder and has said mental health
professionals should avoid telling clients that they can change
their sexual orientation through therapy or other treatments.
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Jon Davidson, legal director for Lambda Legal, a gay, lesbian,
bisexual and transgender rights group, said, "Rick Perry has
demonstrated once and again that he is anti-science and anti-love."
Perry is a defender of a Texas constitutional amendment that bars
same-sex marriage. He has said states should be allowed to set their
own policies on whether to allow gay marriage.
The Texas Republican Party in the past week adopted a policy at its
convention that endorses "reparative therapy" for gays who seek to
change sexual orientation through counseling.
(Reporting by Mary Wisniewski in Chicago and Jon Herskovitz in
Austin; Editing by Grant McCool)
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