Texas Gov. Rick Perry has drawn criticism for comments he made at an event Wednesday night in which he compared homosexuality to alcoholism.
The Republican was asked by the event’s moderator at the InterContinental Mark Hopkins hotel in San Francisco whether he considered homosexuality to be a disorder, the San Francisco Chronicle reported.
“Whether or not you feel compelled to follow a particular lifestyle or not, you have the ability to decide not to do that,” he 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.”
The newspaper reported that the comments “drew a murmur of disbelief” among the crowd. A local CBS affiliate also reported that a few people in the audience gasped at the response.
Mr. Perry made a similar comparison in his 2008 book “On My Honor,” writing that homosexuality is an “active choice,” similar to drinking, Talking Points Memo noted.
The governor is in California as part of a trip to lure businesses to Texas. He also made an appearance in Sacramento, where he made a push for Tesla Motors to build their $5 billion battery factory in Texas.
Mr. Perry also spoke Wednesday about the stunning defeat of House Majority Leader Eric Cantor in Virginia’s Republican primary, attributing his loss to conservative David Brat to not spending enough time with constituents.
“Having been involved in elected office for 30 years now, it’s pretty simple: Spend plenty of time in your home district,” Mr. Perry said.