Rick Perry compares being gay to being an alcoholic, suggests individuals can 'decide not to' be either

The Texas Governor said he looks at 'the homosexual issue' in the same way as alcoholism, arguing 'people the ability to decide not to do that'

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The Independent Online

Texas Governor Rick Perry has sparked outrage once again over comments he made comparing homosexuality to alcoholism - an argument he has come under fire for previously.

Mr Perry, in an appearance on Wednesday night in San Francisco at the Commonwealth Club of California, was asked whether he believed homosexuality was a disorder.

He responded with: “People make choices in life, and, whether or not you feel compelled to follow a particular lifestyle, 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 in the same way." In his 2008 book, On My Honor, Mr Perry made a similar comparison.

His comments came as the Texas Republican Party this week adopted a policy at its convention endorsing "reparative therapy" for gays who seek to change sexual orientation through counselling.

Jon Davidson, legal director for Lambda Legal, a gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender and queer rights group, accused Mr Perry of demonstrating "once and again" that he is "anti-science and anti-love".

Mr Perry was forced to exit the 2012 Republican race after several gaffes including when he lost his train of thought during a debate and could not recall which government departments he wanted to abolish.

He is seen as a possible presidential candidate in 2016 and is a staunch defender of a Texas constitutional amendment that bars same-sex marriage.