Is Gov. Rick Perry deliberately trying to embarrass Texas? That's what we began pondering after we saw the news this morning. Last night, Perry continued his tour of California with a stop in San Francisco -- yup that would be the city of Harvey Milk and everything -- where he opened his mouth and proceeded to compare gay people to alcoholics.
Perry was in town to talk up shale plays and to encourage California to deregulate and try and be more like Texas, but then an audience member asked if he believed homosexuality could be cured, and Perry said he didn't know whether or not it worked, according to the San Francisco Chronicle. When asked whether he believes homosexuality is a disorder, according to the reports, Perry responded, ""Whether or not you feel compelled to follow a particular lifestyle or not, you have the ability to decide not to do that." He continued, "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 across the Lone Star State, Texans who do not in any way agree with Perry woke up and face-palmed repeatedly this morning.
Yes, Perry's comment came from a much wider embarrassment, the"reparative therapy" that the Texas Republican Party has added as a plank. That was humiliating enough for those in Texas who have been excited to see things like the HERO law, and moves toward legalizing gay marriage and basically a more open-minded way of looking at the world. The Texas Republicans supporting the reparative therapy was definitely already bad enough, but Perry, who is currently still the leader of the state, and our longest serving governor, didn't have to add fuel to the fire.
Fred Sainz, the vice president for communications for the Human Rights Campaign, summed it up best in a statement released this morning. "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," Sainz. "Every major mental health and medical organization in the country has condemned practices aimed at changing a person's sexual orientation." Hear that Perry? This whole thing was decided so long ago even mental health and medical organizations have caught up.
We Believe Local Journalism is Critical to the Life of a City
Engaging with our readers is essential to the mission of the Houston Press. Make a financial contribution or sign up for a newsletter, and help us keep telling Houston’s stories with no paywalls.
Support Our Journalism
Honestly, we're beginning to believe he's doing this stuff on purpose. While he explained away his disastrous 2012 presidential run as being "tired" we're pretty sure at this point it was just a part of his long con -- and Sen Ted Cruz is probably in on it -- to do lots of stupid stuff on the national stage in the name of the Lone Star State. We're still not sure what Perry's actually aiming for with this scheme (except another run at the White House, because of course the guy with the best political hair around is going to have another go at it) but his final term of office can't come soon enough.