Texas Gov. Rick Perry Compares Homosexuality to Alcoholism
"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," the politician said during an address in San Francisco.
During a moderated event in San Francisco, Rick Perry's remarks reportedly strayed into social issues, where the Texas Gov. likened homosexuality to alcoholism.
The comments, already making national headlines, were made at the California Commonwealth Club on Wednesday where Perry was scheduled to give an address on the topic of "Energy Independence In America."
"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, according to the San Francisco Chronicle. "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."
Perry, who has served as governor of Texas since 2000, has consistently voiced his opposition to gay marriage despite shifting nationwide attitudes toward gay rights. On Feb. 24, when a judge struck down the state's same-sex marriage ban, the governor released a statement in opposition.
"Texans spoke loud and clear by overwhelmingly voting to define marriage as a union between a man and a woman in our Constitution, and it is not the role of the federal government to overturn the will of our citizens," Perry stated.
The politician gained national stature during his failed presidential bid in 2012. Although he was briefly considered a frontrunner for the GOP nomination, his candidacy was torpedoed after a string of gaffes and perceived debate failures.
His 2011 campaign ad, "Strong" was criticized as anti-gay after it included a quote from Perry stating that "you don't need to be in the pew every Sunday to know there's something wrong in this country when gays can serve openly in the military but our kids can't openly celebrate Christmas or pray in school."