News | Rick Perry

Rick Perry Says a Homosexual Deciding Not to Be Gay is Like an Alcoholic Deciding Not to Have a Drink


In a speech to the Commonwealth Club of California in San Francisco on Wednesday night, Texas Governor Rick Perry trotted out a sentiment he has used to describe his feelings about gays for years.

When asked about the Texas Republican Party's new platform which advocates gay "reparative therapy", Perry said:

"Whether or not you feel compelled to follow a particular lifestyle or not, you have the ability to decide not to do that. 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 has been using this offensive comparison since at least as early as 2008, as TIME's Mark Benjamin pointed out: a little-noticed passage in his first book, “On My Honor,” a encomium on the Boy Scouts published in 2008, Perry also drew a parallel between homosexuality and alcoholism. “Even if an alcoholic is powerless over alcohol once it enters his body, he still makes a choice to drink,” he wrote. “And, even if someone is attracted to a person of the same sex, he or she still makes a choice to engage in sexual activity with someone of the same gender.”

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  1. This analogy is only offensive in that it equates homosexuality with a disease. But Perry is right... Alcoholism, just like homosexuality, is there inside, whether you act on it or not. Being an addict is who you are, whether or not you're using. Maybe he doesn't understand that about addiction... The difference though is that homosexuality doesn't harm oneself, one's life, or one's family in the ways that addiction does. I'm not going to be homeless, psychotic, dead, or in jail because I'm gay -- or maybe I will, depending on where I live. Honestly, this is one of the better arguements from the right wing. It's not right -- but it is relatively accurate. The difference being, you can live a full life without drugs and alcohol -- but living a full life denying your sexuality altogether is life inside of a cage (and doesn't lead to anything good... look at all those priests).

    Posted by: Crispy | Jun 12, 2014 9:53:59 AM

  2. As commented by someone else last night on

    “So tentative is heterosexuality in Texas that Perry fears homosexuality will overwhelm the state. Isn't this a bad meme? In other countries and states, marriage equality isn't changing the percentage of gays in the population.

    Maybe Perry knows something the rest of Texas doesn't know ... the allure of homosexuality.”

    Posted by: JCTSF | Jun 12, 2014 9:54:09 AM

  3. He's actually an authority on both topics. Just wrong, though.

    Posted by: Hansel Currywurst | Jun 12, 2014 9:59:32 AM

  4. Stupid is as stupid does.

    Posted by: CGD | Jun 12, 2014 10:00:29 AM

  5. @Crispy: the disease model of alcoholism is debatable.

    Posted by: tranquilo | Jun 12, 2014 10:00:39 AM

  6. There are way, way too many people who try to come up with analogies that really aren't intelligent enough to do them correctly. Perry is just another brain-dead example.

    Posted by: Jack M | Jun 12, 2014 10:01:51 AM

  7. You can't have it both ways. You can't say homosexuality is disgusting and perverted and then basically admit that it's a strong temptation that must be avoided. Saying that it's like a drink to an alcoholic, a cupcake to an over-indulger, or whatever, is basically admitting that it's a very attractive thing to some people.

    Posted by: Michael W. | Jun 12, 2014 10:04:26 AM

  8. Read Texas State Rep. Glen Maxey's book ("Head Figure Head: The Search for the Hidden Life of Rick Perry") about Rick Perry's secret gay life is you really want to understand this closeted, soon to be ex-Governor.

    Posted by: Bill | Jun 12, 2014 10:08:59 AM

  9. @JCTSF Spot on!

    Posted by: Spicy | Jun 12, 2014 10:09:45 AM

  10. In my eyes, Rick Perry is dumber than dirt....and I hope he runs again in 2016 for President, so we can laugh uncontrollably at him....

    Posted by: Bernie | Jun 12, 2014 10:09:47 AM

  11. @CRISPY... you might just as well include heterosexuality in there with the others. Heterosexuals can also decide to be celibate. But, you don't hear anyone suggesting that they must do so in order to lead a valuable life.

    Posted by: anon | Jun 12, 2014 10:10:34 AM

  12. And another GOP self-loather who thinks being homophobic will make everyone think he's not gay.

    Posted by: Michael | Jun 12, 2014 10:21:33 AM

  13. Another strong argument for post-natal abortion.

    Posted by: Ryan | Jun 12, 2014 10:27:58 AM

  14. Oh nice, I've been sock-puppetted. I'm so A-list.

    Posted by: crispy | Jun 12, 2014 10:28:36 AM

  15. Is this his way of coming out? I was waiting for it, and I think this is it.
    "Guess what, everyone? I'm.... gay! And I hate it. And I promise I won't act on it."

    Ummmmm, congratulations?

    Posted by: Marc | Jun 12, 2014 10:28:45 AM

  16. Yet another one from gop. How many delusional people gop has gathered together?

    Posted by: Matt27 | Jun 12, 2014 10:53:33 AM

  17. One apple a day is a good thing. But eating a truckload of apples will kill ya. Well, maybe he's on to something here. Just like booze, too much gay sex isn't a good thing. Of course, I imagine that too much straight sex isn't a good thing either.

    Hmmm. Thoughts to ponder.

    Posted by: apex | Jun 12, 2014 10:54:19 AM

  18. Yes, it's EXACTLY the same...except for the fact that it's totally different.

    Posted by: TampaZeke | Jun 12, 2014 11:19:37 AM

  19. This actually makes me wonder about Rick Perry. I mean, we've heard the rumors.

    Posted by: Daniel | Jun 12, 2014 11:25:15 AM

  20. "Governor Good Hair" doesn't know what he's talking about. "Nature" as St. Paul, not God, utilizes the concept in Romans has nothing to do with a theory of "Natural Law" but something more akin to "customary" or "characteristic" and is not to be confused with that which is innate, inherent or immutable. Nature was not, in the thinking of Paul, a moral force.

    Posted by: Michael | Jun 12, 2014 11:29:12 AM

  21. Hmmmm looks like sister Ricki's trying to tell us how she's resisted cock all these years. How noble...

    Posted by: leprechaunvict | Jun 12, 2014 12:01:57 PM

  22. You can also make a choice to not use your brain.

    Posted by: Kevin | Jun 12, 2014 12:03:36 PM

  23. Feed him Santorum!

    Posted by: Smuggy | Jun 12, 2014 12:07:06 PM

  24. Classic thinking from someone from the 18th century. He is a disgrace to his party.

    Posted by: Tom | Jun 12, 2014 12:09:34 PM

  25. If Rupaul had said this it would be okay so why all the fuss?

    Posted by: shipshaper | Jun 12, 2014 12:21:00 PM

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