Rick Perry Compared Being Gay to Alcoholism While Trying to Make Nice with California

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Gov. Rick Perry took a break from trying to lure businesses away from California to promote healthy competition between the two states, and share his thoughts Texas' newly adopted "ex-gay therapy" platform. While Perry is "not a doctor," he didn't see how being gay is any different from being an alcoholic.

During his visit with the Commonwealth Club, Perry was asked whether he thought therapy to "cure" homosexuality actually worked. “I don’t know," he said, according to the San Francisco Chronicle. "I’m not a psychiatrist, I’m not a doctor.” Despite his lack of medical training, however, Perry argued that "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."

But Perry, who seems to be scoping out a possible 2016 presidential campaign, wasn't in California to talk about matters better left to psychiatrists and doctors. He pitched Texas' low taxes and light regulations, policies California could adopt. “America needs both California and Texas to be incredibly competitive, incredibly successful,” Perry said, according to the Los Angeles Times. He then went on to sing the golden state's praises — including its "finest in the world" wine. “I’m not here to dis California,” he said. “I’m here to lay out what we’ve done in (Texas), economically, and let you decide which one of those economic policies best suits you.”

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California could be forgiven for not trusting Perry. In February of 2013 Perry visited the state to try to woo businesses. His campaign included a series of radio adds arguing that "building a business in California is next to impossible," according to the Los Angeles Times. And this week hasn't been any different — the Times reported on Tuesday Perry drove a Tesla Model S sedan and said that he'd like it better "if it had a made-in-Texas bumper sticker."

This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.