CNBC calls out Rick Perry for comparing gays to “alcoholics”

You know you’re in trouble when CNBC calls you intolerant.

Republican Texas Gov. Rick Perry was pushed pretty hard on CNBC today by one of the hosts who took offense to Perry recently comparing being gay to being an alchoholic.

Perry recently was asked in San Francisco if he believed being gay was a disorder. Here’s what Perry said:

Commonwealth Club interviewer Greg Dalton then asked him whether he believes homosexuality is a disorder.

“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.”

I’ve long contended that only someone who was himself gay, or conflicted about his sexuality (bi, perhaps?), would think that being gay is a choice, something you can cure, or something that’s a temptation that can be tempered, like “alcoholism.”

100% straight people don’t have urges to hop into bed with someone of the same-sex in the same way that an alcoholic has a yearning for a drink.  I, for example, do not have an urge to sleep with women. (I do, however, face a nightly temptation to chow down on brownies.) But if I did have the lady-sex urge, in the back of my loins, I might just think it was some kind of oddity that I could control — must control — if only I could find the willpower.

I have always found these kind of comments to be a “tell.”  A reveal. And they, in my mind, have always spoken volumes about the person making them.

Well,  “Squawk Box” host Joe Kernan was having none of it today (see video below):

Texas Gov. Rick Perry has a growing gay problem that goes far beyond his "Brokeback Mountain" jacket.

Texas Gov. Rick Perry “Brokeback Mountain” jacket from the 2012 presidential campaign.

“I have a really high bar for what I would take offense to, but that would exceed the bar for me on being an offensive comment. I don’t think gay marriage leads to cirrhosis of the liver or domestic violence or DWIs. I don’t understand how that’s similar.”

It just seems like the Republican party is going to forever behind the curve on issues like this, and it doesn’t help the party win itself.

Perry responded by saying, “I don’t necessarily condone that lifestyle; I don’t condemn it either.”

Whatever, Mary.*

(*Apparently, it’s now necessary to provide trigger warnings for self-loathing gay Republicans who aren’t entirely fluent in Gay. “Mary” isn’t a slur.

And let’s face it, “Mary Perry” does have a certain ring to it.)

Follow me on Twitter: @aravosis | @americablog | @americabloggay | Facebook | Instagram | Google+ | LinkedIn. John Aravosis is the Executive Editor of AMERICAblog, which he founded in 2004. He has a joint law degree (JD) and masters in Foreign Service from Georgetown; and has worked in the US Senate, World Bank, Children's Defense Fund, the United Nations Development Programme, and as a stringer for the Economist. He is a frequent TV pundit, having appeared on the O'Reilly Factor, Hardball, World News Tonight, Nightline, AM Joy & Reliable Sources, among others. John lives in Washington, DC. .

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26 Responses to “CNBC calls out Rick Perry for comparing gays to “alcoholics””

  1. 2karmanot says:

    If sexuality is a choice then why, why, don’t more ‘straight’ people choose to be gay?

  2. Houndentenor says:

    Because our lazy media elite don’t cover state-level stories unless it’s a slow news day. If it doesn’t happen in a press conference in White House or isn’t a natural disaster or headline-making crime, they don’t notice.

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  4. Ninong says:

    Rick Perry has been saying this for years, so why is it suddenly news? He ran for president saying exactly the same thing. He has repeatedly said that according to his faith, homosexuality is a sin but he believes we should hate the sin and love the sinner. He has always said that he believes homosexuality is a choice and it can be cured with therapy.

    He has been saying batshit crazy stuff like this for years. He says it in Texas all the time.

  5. Ninong says:

    Whatever happened to Geoff Connor, the guy Rick appointed Secretary of State? Weren’t they an item at one time?

  6. jomicur says:

    We really need to keep reminding everyone that Perry thinks alcoholism is a “lifestyle choice.” That will tick off a lot more people than just the LGBT community and our allies.

  7. jomicur says:

    And don’t you just love the implication that alcoholism is a lifestyle?

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  10. mark_in_toronto says:

    Rick Perry is stupid. Of course he will say stupid shit.
    Why so surprised?

  11. chris10858 says:

    Calling the Governor “Mary” is highly offensive… to women named Mary. LOL

  12. The_Fixer says:

    1) Why do all of these sanctimonious assholes have such plastic smirky grins? Self-satisfaction?

    2) Dismissing homosexuality as being an abnormal compulsion is counter to everything that honest mental health professionals have discovered through research and trial-and-error. History supports this.

    3) This dismissal is a dumb-ass view of human sexuality and reflects a belief that human sexuality is completely behaviorally-based. There is no understanding of affection and attraction with these people. They take heterosexual attraction for granted and simply can’t understand anything else. It’s like they don’t understand why someone would be happy with blond hair – “can’t ya just dye it so it’s brown or black?”

    4) While the CNBC guy is a tool in other areas of policy, he reflects changing attitudes toward LGBT people in society at large. This is going to be a mighty struggle for the Republican party, and will keep them from attracting young people.

    5) Anything that hinders the Republican party is a good thing. Keep arguing, my little wingnuts!

  13. Indigo says:

    good one!

  14. caphillprof says:

    I’ve said it before; I ‘ll say it again: I feel that Rick Perry is the kind of guy who uses alcohol to enable having sex with men. In his case there may well be a connection wit alcohol and gay sex.

  15. usagi says:

    Now known as a “brojob”.

  16. slappymagoo says:

    Or very over-hung?

  17. emjayay says:

    He’s sort of right in a way. A person can decide to not drink. People can decide to stop using heroin. If they are addicts they might really, really, not want to stop and may experience horrible physical and chemically induced mental effects, but it’s possible. A person can decide to not have any sex, like monks and nuns (well, some of the good ones) or can decide to have maybe enough sex with someone they don’t really want to have sex with that much in order to have a family and survive in society. It’s been going on forever.
    But of course basically his head is totally up his ass. The wingnut moderator agrees with him on everything but one little thing, sort of.
    I’d like these guys to actually discuss in detail someday exactly what regulations they are talking about that are killing jobs or whatever. With someone on the other side.

  18. emjayay says:

    They don’t love us. Jesus loves us, so they grit their teeth and put up with it.

  19. Naja pallida says:

    As usual, Rick Perry has no idea what he’s talking about, on any subject.

  20. BeccaM says:

    Perry gets alcoholism 100% wrong, too. It’s not some ‘tendency’ that can simply be avoided through choice or force of will. If desire alone was enough, there’d be no alcoholics nor Alcoholics Anonymous, where the very first admission members have to make is that they’re personally powerless over alcohol and their addiction to it.

    An alcoholic is an alcoholic. Some of them drink, some manage to keep their drinking under some degree of control, and some manage to abstain. They’re still alcoholics. The plain fact is a lot of ’em DON’T have “the ability to decide not to do that” — and can’t just decide not to drink.

    And some, as I suspect might be the case for Governor Perry, delude themselves into thinking they have their alcohol and drug addictions under control. (There were lots of stories about him being stoned on pain killers during the ’12 campaign.) Besides ‘gay face’, he also has that “I do mountains of blow” look about him.

  21. Drew2u says:

    “Wow, I was out binge-gaying last night and I woke up very hungover..”

  22. The victory of the Tea Party over
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  23. BeccaM says:

    It almost doesn’t matter what specific disease Rick “Governor Hair” Perry picks — or the rest of his GOPer compulsive wanker friends. The point is what they’re saying: “To be gay is to be defective. To accept being gay doubles down on the defect. For a gay person to find love and settle down with a family and maybe some kids is three strikes.”

    Morally, physically, psychologically — take your pick. The only part they ever disagree on is whether non-heterosexual orientation exists and if so, what is to blame for it happening. What they do agree on is that gay people are supposed to suffer, be ashamed, and be terribly unhappy. No jobs, no housing, and no family. Only the closet is permitted, so straights can go back to pretending they don’t personally know any gay people.

    Then they have the gall to say it’s because they love us.

    And it’s bullshit if in one breath Perry can equate being gay with alcoholism, specifically refer to it as a ‘lifestyle choice’ — and then try to claim he’s not condemning the ‘lifestyle.’

  24. Indigo says:

    Right. The oldest line in the book . . . “I was sooo drunk!”

  25. Even if he had compared alcoholism to sex, it does not wash. We can choose to drink alcohol or to have sex, but the comparison should be an occasional drink. Alcoholism is an addiction, and sex is a natural tendency. Calling homosexuality the equivalent of alcoholism misses in both the kind of drink we choose and how much we drink it. I personally like red wine, but I avoid it because I eat too much and get fatter, besides red grapes are cheaper to get the resverol!

  26. slappymagoo says:

    Of course he compares homosexuality to alcoholism.

    Because he probably “forgets” that “he’s not gay” when he’s been drinking.

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