Texas Governor Rick Perry stirred up trouble in San Francisco, California this week after comparing homosexuality with alcoholism during an exchange with reporters.
Journalists at the San Francisco Gate say there was a “murmur of disbelief” among the crowd at Perry’s appearance on Wednesday after he made the controversial remark at an event hosted by the Commonwealth Club of California.
Days earlier, the Texas Republican Party agreed to approve new platform language that endorses counseling for those desiring a “cure” for being gay. Asked in San Francisco if he believed homosexuality was a disorder, Perry produced a response that quickly caused the former United States presidential hopeful to instantly earn himself a place in this week's headlines.
“Whether or not you feel compelled to follow a particular lifestyle or not, you have the ability to decide not to do that,” Perry responded. “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."
According to a CBS News report, Perry said that he wasn’t sure if so-called “reparative therapy” works. Fellow Republicans in the Lone Star State seem to think so, however, as evidenced by a recent statement in which local members of the GOP said: “We recognize the legitimacy and value of counseling which offers reparative therapy and treatment to patients who are seeking escape from the homosexual lifestyle. No laws or executive orders shall be imposed to limit or restrict access to this type of therapy.”
“Does it concern you, again, that your party is now backing a form of therapy which basically every major medical organization says doesn’t work, can be harmful, and which many of the people who have been through it say it doesn’t work and is bad for kids?” CNN’s Anderson Cooper asked Texas Rep. Bryan Hughes (R) this week regarding the state GOP’s stance.
“No one is saying that God doesn’t love people as they are,” he responded. “There’s nothing in the platform about that. No one is trying to take that position. Every one of us makes mistakes, makes decisions we’re not proud of. God loves each one of us, and he offers us a way for us to deal with sin and bad choices. But I do strongly disagree with what he said about God not loving people.”
Others, including the American Psychiatric Association, have condemned reparative therapy as a sham.
“The American Psychiatric Association opposes any psychiatric treatment, such as ‘reparative’ or ‘conversion’ therapy, which is based upon the assumption that homosexuality per se is a mental disorder, or based upon a prior assumption that the patient should change his/her homosexual orientation,” the APA has said.
Perry, who was unsuccessful at securing the Republican Party nod’s during the lead-up to the 2012 US presidential elections, is rumored to be once again considering a big for the White House role.