1. On Wednesday night, during a speaking engagement in San Francisco, Texas Gov. Rick Perry waded into the debate over conversion therapy.
2. “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, when asked if he believes being gay is a disorder, according to SFGate.
3. “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.”
Perry’s remarks come on the heels of the Texas Republican Party approving a new platform endorsing “reparative” or “conversion” therapy, a widely discredited practice that aims to turn gay people straight.
When asked specifically about conversion therapy at the event, Perry said he didn’t know if the practice works, according to the report.
4. The Human Rights Campaign, a national LGBT rights group, had harsh words for Perry in a statement Thursday morning:
Although he may not have the ‘genetic coding’ to think before he speaks, Rick Perry, M.D. should have a real conversation with actual doctors before voicing his expertise on these issues,” said Fred Sainz, vice president for communications at HRC. “Every major mental health and medical organization in the country has condemned practices aimed at changing a person’s sexual orientation.”
5. Watch a clip of the remarks here. A message was left with Perry’s press office seeking additional comment.
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