In his 2012 presidential bid, Texas governor Rick Perry was known for his verbal gaffes, perhaps the most famous of which coming during a debate in which Perry forgot which part of the federal government he wished to abolish.
Many have not considered Perry to be a viable candidate in the 2016 elections, yet his actions imply otherwise, making visits to early voting states such as Iowa and South Carolina. And while Perry may have learned many things during his first foray into the race for president, speaking skills were apparently not on the list.
During a visit to the Commonwealth Club of California in San Francisco on Wednesday night, Perry sought to push less-restricted economic practices onto California, imploring the state to follow the example set by Texas: “I’m not here to dis California. I’m here to lay out what we’ve done in [Texas], economically, and let you decide which one of those economic policies best suits you.”
Despite his assurances, however, Perry did dis California, albeit most likely not on purpose.
During the question and answer session with the audience, Perry fielded a question about whether or not he thought that reparative therapy for homosexuals, a practice now deemed acceptable and appropriate by the state of Texas, really worked: “I don’t know. I’m not a psychiatrist, I’m not a doctor,” responded Perry.
Commonwealth Club interviewer Greg Dalton then asked the logical follow up question: Is it [homosexuality] a disorder?
Perry’s answer resulted in several, audible gasps:
Whether or not you feel compelled to follow a particular lifestyle or not, you have the ability to decide not to do that. 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.
In a state which has banned reparative therapy from licensed professionals to minors, Perry’s answer was perhaps the most wrong answer he could have given.
"Rick Perry's comparison of homosexuality of alcoholism was just the beginning of his scientific know-nothingism" http://t.co/DEVxNCiNZb
— TIME.com (@TIME) June 12, 2014
In response to Perry’s inane comment Wednesday night, the Human Rights Campaign released a simple, yet effective, reply:
Although he may not have the ‘genetic coding’ to think before he speaks, Rick Perry, M.D. should have a real conversation with actual doctors before voicing his expertise on these issues. Every major mental health and medical organization in the country has condemned practices aimed at changing a person’s sexual orientation.
— HumanRightsCampaign (@HRC) June 13, 2014
Unfortunately for Perry, this is not the first time he has expressed such views. In his 2008 book, On My Honor, Perry likened homosexuality to alcoholism once again, saying, “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.”
If there’s one upside for the Perry campaign, it’s this – If Perry decides to run for President in 2016, he will not have to worry about spending money to campaign in California… or New York… or Massachusetts… or Washington… (You get the picture.)
Image via YouTube