In a manner reminiscent of the days that President George W. Bush used to put his foot into his mouth on a regular basis, Governor Rick Perry today followed suit and equaled Bush's most offensive bumblers at the infamous Commonwealth Club in San Francisco. Perry drew analogies between homosexuality and alcoholism, stating that if a person has a genetic predisposition to alcoholism, that he or she still has a choice whether or not to become an alcoholic. Perry said that the same principle holds true for someone who has a genetic predisposition to homosexuality, according to ABC News on Thursday.
Without providing any suggestions as to what a homosexual is supposed to do about his or her feelings, Perry has implied that abstention is the only avenue available to gays. The further implication is that gays don't deserve to love or be loved, should not express themselves sexually as do heterosexuals, and are devoid of the most basic and sacrosanct rights promised to every American, namely the right to "life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness." Perry's comments go well beyond the issue of gay marriage that is being debated throughout the country. Perry's comments reflect a lingering homophobia and gay bashing attitude that still is manifest in many southern states such as Texas: 1)Homosexuality is a mental disorder. 2) Homosexuality is a sin. 3) Homosexuality is something that needs to be cured with "reparative therapy."
It was totally abhorrent that Perry made his comments in America's most gay friendly city and that he made the comments to San Francisco's long established and well respected Commonwealth Club. Not only were his comments an insult to the People of San Francisco and the members of the Commonwealth Club, but they were a profuse indicator of Perry's total and unequivocal ignorance of the culture and social and political beliefs of the People of San Francisco, the Bay Area and Northern California. It is hard to find an analogy that fits Perry's stupidity. "Bull in the China shop?," well not exactly, "Ugly American?," perhaps, but this audience were Americans too. "Slimy Texan?," well it works, but he has to stand in line behind a whole host of other notoriously slimy Texas politicians throughout history. How about the analogy that the late Governor Ann Richards (D,Tx) used to refer to George W. Bush: "Poor George, he can't help it. He was born with a sliver foot in his mouth."
He may not have a silver foot, but he he has a broken political barometer with a cracked gauge. If Perry is so politically naive as to denigrate gays in the most gay-friendly city in America while trying to gain support for his Presidential race in 2016, it is anyone's guess as to what he may do next. San Franciscans have a common, sad memory of the assassination of their first openly gay city supervisor in 1977, Harvey Milk. When one thinks of how Perry could have said something kind and benevolent about Milk's memory and legacy, instead of expressing his ignorance, homophobia and hatred, it is mind boggling. A person with Perry's insensitivity, hatred and total lack of social consciousness does not belong in politics and most likely will have to wait a long time before being invited to the Commonwealth Club again. If he is the best that the Republicans can come up with, then we don't have anything to worry about as this commentator sees it.
The 2016 election already is unveiling a very interesting scenario that is yet to be played out. We will be watching and reporting on it every step of the way.