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:

…in 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.”


  1. Crispy says

    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).

  2. JCTSF says

    As commented by someone else last night on sfgate.com

    “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.”

  3. Jack M says

    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.

  4. Michael W. says

    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.

  5. Bernie says

    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….

  6. anon says

    @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.

  7. Michael says

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

  8. Marc says

    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?

  9. apex says

    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.

  10. Michael says

    “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.

  11. leprechaunvict says

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

  12. TonyJazz says

    It is incredible that someone who tries to promote the state of Texas as business friendly would insult vast masses of the American public.

    Our families, our parents, ourselves—-these people are all insulted by these comments.

    Don’t do your business in Texas, unless it is Chick-Fil-A.

    Don’t support someone who speaks with a truly forked tongue…..

  13. simon says

    He believes in the literary truth of the Bible. It is not surprising he said something like this. He also said “evolution is just a theory” which he surely knows nothing about.
    Here is how Oxford don Richard Dawkins dressed him down in a Washington Post article:
    This was what he said:”There is nothing unusual about Governor Rick Perry. Uneducated fools can be found in every country and every period of history, and they are not unknown in high office.”

  14. BossIlluiminati says

    we expected this from the man who represents Texas, not surprising, decades behind us

    this is the same TexASS GOP (Boss GOP) that banned gay republicans from setting up a booth at their convention and struck marijuana from their platform entirely….

    i for one am excited for the 2016 Presidential race, how big a grave can they dig?

    nothing christian conservatives hate more then gays, marijuana and women’s rights

  15. Fixed! says

    “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 a Religionist, but I have the desire not to do that, and I look at the alcohol issue the same way.”

  16. Robert Pavlick says

    Well yes, I suppose that you could equate homosexuality with alcoholism in the sense that as alcoholism is incurable, likewise, so is homosexuality. The only choice that alcoholics have is whether to give into their urges and have a drink or not, but they will always be alcoholics regardless. There is no cure that will allow alcoholics to resume drinking, but moderately, like social drinkers because they are not social drinkers, they are alcoholics, all be it, reformed.

    Likewise gay people cannot stop being gay. There is no choice involved; they can never be heterosexual. The only choice is whether to act upon their feelings and natural desires and inclinations or not. They do have the ability to be celibate or to not act upon their urges, but why should they? Why should they have to live a life devoid of love, feelings, intimacy and family life just because some religious crackpots say that they should ?????

  17. Gay Guy says

    A Christian who insists on worshipping a false messiah is like an alcoholic taking a drink!!

  18. simon says

    The messiah was not only false. He didn’t even exist. The Christian Talibans will find it an embarrassment which easily can turn into anger.

  19. emjayay says

    Actually, not that Perry would know, the idea of Natural Law came more from Thomas Aquinas in the 1200’s. He did a lot of deep thinking, trying to be very legalistic and scientific about religious philosophy, and his thinking is very influential in traditional Catholic teaching, like by Jesuits – it’s the philosophy Scalia is all about, and Thomas too in his own dunderheaded way. I suppose some of the ideas leaked into ignorant Protestants like Perry as well. I’m sure modern theologians and philosophers think Aquinas is worth serious study, and think he was way off most of the time. It was eight centuries ago.

    Check the Wikipedia entry on Aquinas for a condensed version of his extensive thinking.

  20. Indigo (@IndigoCeleste) says

    Poor old Good-Hair Perry. He just can’t help himself. Y’all don’t listen to him–nobody in Texas does.