Texas Gov. Rick Perry is in California this week, and his visit is already making headlines, though probably not for the reason he'd like. In an interview with the San Francisco Chronicle, Perry likened homosexuality to alcoholism.
In response to a question about the validity of counseling to "cure" being gay, 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."
"Whether or not you feel compelled to follow a particular lifestyle or not, you have the ability to decide not to do that," Perry said.
"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's comments come on the heels of an opinion column in the Orange County Register where he touted Texas as a haven of personal freedom. "In Texas, we understand the importance of individual freedom, and we work hard to keep the government as far removed from people's lives as possible," Perry wrote.
Although gay marriage is still illegal in Texas, a federal judge in San Antonio ruled the state's ban on gay marriage unconstitutional in February. Texas passed a 2003 law against same-sex unions and a 2005 constitutional amendment defining marriage as between a man and a woman. The ruling from U.S. District Judge Orlando Garcia is expected to go before the Supreme Court.
Perry is in California to promote Texas' economic policies and has made it clear he hopes to attract Golden State companies to the Lone Star State. In April, Toyota announced it would move its marketing headquarters from Southern California to Plano. Perry has since set his sights on convincing Tesla to bring its battery factory to Texas.
Never one for subtleties, the outgoing governor drove an electric Tesla car to meetings in Sacramento this week. Perry's 14-year reign in the governor's mansion ends in January, and there's speculation he could be mounting another run at the White House. Perry dropped out of the 2012 presidential primary race after a disastrous five-month campaign filled with high-profile gaffes.