Just a day after a Republican candidate for the Oklahoma State House said he was totally OK with the idea of stoning gays to death, Old Testament-style, Texas Gov. Rick Perry went and compared homosexuality with alcoholism. Speaking before the Commonwealth Club in San Francisco, the governor displayed his ignorance about both: “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 contemporary medicine, alcoholism is considered a disorder and homosexuality is not, and neither can be “overcome” through personal morality.
This all may have something to do with the Texas Republican Party’s recent decision to codify its opposition to the gays, refusing to recognize same-sex marriage or civil unions and proclaiming the widely-debunked “reparative therapy” as the cure for homosexuality. (California has banned its use on minors, because it’s basically psychological torture.) Although Perry, the nation’s longest-serving governor – having taken over when George W. Bush became president – isn’t currently running for re-election, he might be shoring himself up for a future campaign. After House Majority Leader Eric Cantor lost his primary to a newcomer, it’s likely that many prominent Republicans will use every opportunity to throw red meat to their base, sometimes in the form of outrageous comparisons lacking any scientific basis whatsoever.
For the record, Perry himself has faced whispers that he may be gay. (Disclosure: I used to work for his accuser, Glen Maxey, who led Howard Dean’s 2004 campaign in Texas.) Moreover, while there’s no evidence that he has a drinking problem, he did run into problems during his presidential campaign when he appeared to be giving a speech while intoxicated. And Perry has a habit of trolling California generally, usually while swinging through Silicon Valley and attempting to poach tech companies so he can brag about job growth in Texas. This time around, not content with mere homophobia, Perry went on to support fracking and dismiss climate change, just for good measure. Texas can’t become a blue state fast enough.
Photo by Scott Olson via Getty Images
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