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.”