When Gov. Rick Perry (R-TX) spoke at the Commonwealth Club of California on June 11, 2014, the focus was on economic development. Perry touted Texas’ alternative energy program, the attempts to lure California firms to Texas, and cited that Texas is an example of how to create economic development.
In response to a question to Perry asking him if he considered homosexuality to be a disease, this was his response.
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.
This response leaves a question as to whether Perry is a potential alcoholic. The platform committee for Texas Republicans now includes supporting voluntary therapy to “cure” being gay. Perry’s comments were made in California where therapists are prohibited from trying to reprogram minors to convert them from homosexual to heterosexual orientation.
Perry said he didn’t know if the therapy worked. He did not address the issue of whether non-voluntary programs should be carried out on minors, prisoners, or other Texas residents.
Perry complained in other remarks that those that did not believe that global warming is an issue should not be classified as Neanderthals. Perry might consider that those that believe that homosexuality is a disease may also end up in the Neanderthal category for a majority of the population of the US.
Same-gender relationships are gaining increasing acceptance as the overall population now has experience in how those relationships are as sincere, productive and committed as heterosexual relationships. The openness of people that are homosexual has helped the overall population realize that gender orientation is one of many human characteristics, and that sexual orientation is not the overwhelming factor in whether a person is a good human being.
Sexual orientation does not define a person any more than other characterizations defined by race, religion, national origin or other distinctions placed on individuals. People need to be accepted based upon their treatment of others, and how they contribute to being human beings. Their beliefs and choices are their own business so long as their actions do no harm to others.
Readers can get a local viewpoint regarding Perry's statements from the Dallas Morning News in an article published on June 12, 2014. Rick Perry draws comparison between homosexuality, alcoholism during California visit. His views on homosexuality will be well accepted by many fundamentalists and conservative voters. They will be a factor in his pursuit of the GOP nomination for the 2016 presidential race.
Sexual orientation is not a disease, or a choice, or something that needs to be changed. Sexual orientation needs to be accepted as one of many characteristics that make us the what we are.