Texas Governor Rick Perry was put on the hot seat Monday (16 June) over his recent comments comparing homosexuality to alcoholism.
Joe Kernen, co-host of CNBC’s Squawk Box, told Perry: ‘In terms of comparing it to alcoholism, that’s what got all the play, and I have a really high bar for what I would take offense to, but that would exceed the bar for me. I don’t think gay marriage leads to cirrhosis of the liver, domestic violence, or DWIs. I don’t see how that’s similar.’
Perry remarked that ‘I understand people have different opinions on that’ then was asked about controversial gay reparation therapy.
Said Perry: ‘We’ll leave that to the psychologists and the doctors.’
Kernen told Perry: ‘psychologists have already weighed in. they dismissed the idea that sexual orientation is a mental disorder, and they’ve told their mental health professionals to avoid telling clients they can change their sexual orientation.’
Perry, a failed candidate for the Republican nomination for president, was then asked by the CNBC co-host that if he were to run again, would he agree that there are ‘upstanding gay couples, good citizens, good parents’ out there.
The governor replied: ‘I don’t necessarily condone that lifestyle. I don’t condemn it either. We’re all children of God. The fact is that people will decide where they want to live if Washington will respect the 10th amendment…and allow people to decide how they want to live.’
In February, a federal judge ruled that the Texas ban on same-sex marriage was unconstitutional – a ruling that is currently under appeal. Kernen asked Perry if he would respect the result if the overturning of the ban is upheld.
Perry did not directly answer the question.
‘Well, Texas has made the decision on that already by a vote of over 75%,’ he said. ‘They said that marriage is between one man and one woman and I respect that. And I respect whatever they want to do in California or New York, for that matter.’