During an event Wednesday night in San Francisco, Texas Gov. Rick Perry (R) shocked the crowd when he compared homosexuality to alcholism.
He was speaking to the Commonwealth Club of California, and the topic of “reparative therapy” came up, which the Texas Republican Party recently put its support behind. “Reparative therapy” is a widely discredited process that’s intended to change a person’s sexual orientation. Perry admitted that he didn’t know if the therapy works, the San Francisco Chronicle reports.
But then Greg Dalton, the Commonwealth Club interviewer, asked Perry whether or not he believed homosexuality is a disorder.
“Whether or not you feel compelled to follow a particular lifestyle or not, you have the ability to decide not to do that,” Perry 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.”
That response “drew a murmur of disbelief” from the audience, which was filled with many supporters of the potential 2016 presidential candidate.
He also touched on efforts to support climate change — especially “cap and trade” systems — saying they would strangle the economy.
Perry said those concerned about global warming are too close-minded when it comes to debating the issue.
“You either believe this all the way, or you’re a Neanderthal,” Perry said.
On Wednesday at a Bay Area event, Perry had some high praise for Hillary Clinton, another potential 2016 presidential candidate.
According to the Los Angeles Times, he called Clinton a “very, very capable public servant, great Secretary of State, first lady.”