No, Rick Perry, Being Gay Is Not Like Alcoholism

The science is so very clear on this.

National Journal
Brian Resnick
See more stories about...
Brian Resnick
June 12, 2014, 7:35 a.m.

Texas Gov. Rick Perry’s speech at the Com­mon­wealth Club of Cali­for­nia on Wed­nes­day night was go­ing well — he com­pli­men­ted the Cali­for­nia cli­mate, and even spoke kindly of Hil­lary Clin­ton. But then he said this, in San Fran­cisco no less:

“I may have the ge­net­ic cod­ing that I’m in­clined to be an al­co­hol­ic, but I have the de­sire not to do that,” he said. “And I look at the ho­mo­sexu­al is­sue in the same way.”

This is im­port­ant, as it re­flects the think­ing of the Texas Re­pub­lic­an Party at large, which re­cently ad­op­ted a party plat­form that sup­ports the leg­al­ity of gay-con­ver­sion ther­apy. That plat­form reads,

We re­cog­nize the le­git­im­acy and value of coun­sel­ing which of­fers re­par­at­ive ther­apy and treat­ment to pa­tients who are seek­ing es­cape from the ho­mo­sexu­al life­style. No laws or ex­ec­ut­ive or­ders shall be im­posed to lim­it or re­strict ac­cess to this type of ther­apy.

The ther­apy is much de­rided by the psy­cho­lo­gic­al sci­entif­ic es­tab­lish­ment. “The long-stand­ing con­sensus of the be­ha­vi­or­al and so­cial sci­ences and the health and men­tal-health pro­fes­sions is that ho­mo­sexu­al­ity per se is a nor­mal and pos­it­ive vari­ation of hu­man sexu­al ori­ent­a­tion,” the Amer­ic­an Psy­cho­lo­gic­al As­so­ci­ation wrote in a res­ol­u­tion con­dem­ing such ther­apies. Fur­ther­more, the as­so­ci­ation finds that the ther­apies can cause more harm than good.

Re­cently, some states, such as New York, have sought to ban the ther­apies out­right, prompt­ing Texas Re­pub­lic­ans to pree­mpt such meas­ures at home. In a such strongly con­ser­vat­ive state, it’s un­likely that such meas­ures would stand a chance. (It’s re­min­is­cent of the bans on sharia law in very Chris­ti­an-dom­in­ated areas: All bluster.)

Perry’s com­ments rep­res­ent a com­plete con­fla­tion of the sci­entif­ic is­sue. Al­co­hol­ism is a dis­ease. Al­co­hol­ism is mal­ad­apt­ive. Al­co­hol­ism takes and ru­ins lives. Al­co­hol­ism ought to be cured. Ho­mo­sexu­al­ity, while its ori­gins are not quiet un­der­stood, is not a dis­order. And un­like ther­apy for al­co­hol­ism, “the Amer­ic­an Psy­cho­lo­gic­al As­so­ci­ation con­cludes that there is in­suf­fi­cient evid­ence to sup­port the use of psy­cho­lo­gic­al in­ter­ven­tions to change sexu­al ori­ent­a­tion.”

On the oth­er hand, the APA says of al­co­hol-ad­dic­tion ther­apies: “These ther­apies can help people boost their mo­tiv­a­tion to stop drink­ing, identi­fy cir­cum­stances that trig­ger drink­ing, learn new meth­ods to cope with high-risk drink­ing situ­ations, and de­vel­op so­cial sup­port sys­tems with­in their own com­munit­ies.”

Perry is not seek­ing reelec­tion as gov­ernor in 2014, and it’s likely he’ll run for the White House again.

This will be an is­sue he’ll be held ac­count­able for. The num­ber of Amer­ic­ans who sup­port same-sex mar­riage has reached an all-time high. In 2012, 54 per­cent said they view ho­mo­sexu­al­ity as mor­ally ac­cept­able. And 63 per­cent of Amer­ic­ans say dis­crim­in­a­tion against gays is a “very” or “some­what ser­i­ous” prob­lem.

What We're Following See More »
CHARM OFFENSIVE
Pence Is Trump’s Man on Capitol Hill
1 hours ago
THE LATEST

"Spurred by VP pick Mike Pence, a former congressman with close ties to many lawmakers, the Trump campaign in recent weeks has stepped up its courtship of wary Capitol Hill Republicans. And the efforts appear to be bearing fruit." Central to the charm offensive: invitations to more than a dozen "Senate and House members into his family’s private box for some power-schmoozing with him and his kids" during the Republican National Convention.

Source:
PAUL RYAN: STOP IT
Trump Encourages More Spying by Russia
1 hours ago
THE LATEST

Donald Trump essentially encouraged more Russian espionage against Democrats in a press conference this morning. "Russia, if you’re listening, I hope you’re able to find the 30,000 emails that are missing,” he said. “I think you will probably be rewarded mightily by our press.” That prompted Brendan Buck, spokesman for House Speaker Paul Ryan to say: “Russia is a global menace led by a devious thug. Putin should stay out of this election.”

Source:
ONE MORE INVESTIGATION
IRS Investigating Clinton Foundation
2 hours ago
WHY WE CARE

Investigations are never far from the Clintons, and here's another: At the behest of "dozens" of Republican lawmakers, the IRS is opening a fraud investigation into the Clinton Foundation."The move signals a shift from the IRS's announcement last year that it would not look into allegations of financial irregularities at the well-connected charity."

Source:
INFIGHTING AMONG COMMISSIONERS TO BLAME
Report Details Terrible Morale at FEC
3 hours ago
THE DETAILS

"Bickering commissioners, ineffective managers and lousy internal communication rank among the top reasons why the Federal Election Commission" has some of the worst morale in the federal government. That's the conclusion of an inspector general's report, which put "the most blame on the FEC’s six commissioners: three Democratic appointees and three Republican appointees who have regularly criticized one another and frequently (but not exclusively) deadlocked on high-profile political issues before them."

Source:
TRADE DEALS BACK IN THE NEWS
UAW President: Clinton Promised to Renegotiate NAFTA
3 hours ago
THE DETAILS

On Tuesday, Dennis Williams, the president of the United Auto Workers, said that Hillary Clinton has told him that she will renegotiate the North American Free Trade Agreement if elected president. Trade deals, especially NAFTA, have played a prominent role in the campaign, with Clinton receiving heat both from her Democratic rival Bernie Sanders and GOP nominee Donald Trump. The Clinton campaign did not comment on Williams's comments, though that didn't stop the Trump campaign from weighing in. Hillary Clinton "will never renegotiate Bill Clinton's NAFTA," said Stephen Miller, senior policy adviser to Trump.

Source:
×