Little Spat on the Perry
By Tony Perkins
Everything’s bigger in Texas — including political scrutiny. If anyone knows that, it’s Texas Governor Rick Perry. The longtime Lone Star has taken his share of lumps from the press, despite a popular 14-year run that positioned the state as one of the most financially solvent in the country. Regardless of Texas’s success, the media isn’t eager to cut the former presidential candidate any slack — as evidenced by this week’s ridiculous overreaction to Perry’s statement on homosexuality.
Speaking in San Francisco of all places, the Governor was asked about the decision by state Republicans to support reparative therapy for people with unwanted same-sex attractions. Never one to back away from the issue, Governor Perry made an argument liberals despise — that homosexual behavior is a choice.
“Whether or not you feel compelled to follow a particular lifestyle or not, you have the ability to decide not to do that,” he told the audience. “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.” While not everyone might have used that comparison, the underlying message is an important one: people are responsible for their behavior, regardless of their sexual preferences. Of course, that sends the Left into a blind rage because it implies that homosexuality is, as science suggests, about conduct — not identity. If it’s about conduct, then people can control it. Liberals would rather debate homosexuality as inborn so they can make all the convenient comparisons to civil rights and demand acceptance. In reality, the research does not show that anyone is “born gay” and instead explains homosexuality through a complex mix of developmental factors.
Obviously, homosexual attractions are not a “choice” in the vast majority of cases. But it should be insulting to people with same-sex attractions to claim that they’re compelled to act on those attractions. Homosexual or heterosexual, people are responsible for their conduct. Have we come to the point that we are nothing more than our sexual urges? And that’s essentially the point Governor Perry was trying to make. But unfortunately for him, there’s no room for an honest conversation in Obama’s America.
On Thursday, the Governor’s office sent out a simple statement reaffirming its commitment to marriage and natural sexuality. “The Governor supports traditional marriage and believes that marriage is between one man and one woman. He has been clear on his position that each state has the right to define marriage to reflect the views of its citizens.” Much as liberals despise that little thing called the First Amendment, Governor Perry has the freedom to have that opinion — even if it isn’t politically correct. And there are millions of Americans that are glad he isn’t afraid to voice it.
Tony Perkins is president of the Washington, D.C.-based Family Research Council. He is a former member of the Louisiana legislature where he served for eight years, and he is recognized as a legislative pioneer for authoring measures like the nation’s first Covenant Marriage law.
(Via FRC’s Washington Update. Tony Perkins’ Washington Update is written with the aid of FRC senior writers.)
The opinions expressed by columnists are their own and do not necessarily represent the views of Barb Wire.