Texas Gov. Rick Perry's speech at the Commonwealth Club of California on Wednesday night was going well — he complimented the California climate, and even spoke kindly of Hillary Clinton. But then he said this, in San Francisco no less:
"I may have the genetic coding that I'm inclined to be an alcoholic, but I have the desire not to do that," he said. "And I look at the homosexual issue in the same way."
This is important, as it reflects the thinking of the Texas Republican Party at large, which recently adopted a party platform that supports the legality of gay-conversion therapy. That platform reads,
We recognize the legitimacy and value of counseling which offers reparative therapy and treatment to patients who are seeking escape from the homosexual lifestyle. No laws or executive orders shall be imposed to limit or restrict access to this type of therapy.
The therapy is much derided by the psychological scientific establishment. "The long-standing consensus of the behavioral and social sciences and the health and mental-health professions is that homosexuality per se is a normal and positive variation of human sexual orientation," the American Psychological Association wrote in a resolution condeming such therapies. Furthermore, the association finds that the therapies can cause more harm than good.