[guest post by Dana]
In San Francisco yesterday, Rick Perry spoke to the Commonwealth Club of California.
He discussed states rights, economic and social policies, as well as climate change and fracking.
Perry argued the federal government should give up much of its policy-making power, letting states chart their own courses on issues ranging from business subsidies to abortion. He joked about his frequent habit of luring California companies to Texas and called the competition between the two states healthy for both, as well as the nation.
However, what made the news was the subject of homosexuality and his comparison of it to alcoholism. As the Texas Republican Party now endorses a platform that supports access to “reparative therapy” for gays and lesbians, a widely discredited process intended to change sexual orientation, Perry, when asked about it, stated that he did not know if the therapy worked. The event host then asked Perry whether he believed homosexuality was 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.”
And although there were Perry supporters in the audience, audible murmurings and gasps were heard.
Reading a number of responses to Perry’s comments from various sites, it would appear there are two basic responses: There are those who give him kudos for honesty and courage to speak frankly (and in San Francisco, no less), and there is concern that if he plans to run in 2016, he might want to re-think, or at least refine his comments regarding such a hot button issue.
UPDATE BY PATTERICO: I am confident nobody could put me in therapy and have me come out believing I wanted to have sex with a man. So how could therapy convince a gay man that he wants to have sex with a woman?