Presidential Poise Under Pressure: Gov. Rick Perry Compares Homosexuality To Alcoholism

Last Saturday at their annual convention in Fort Worth, the Texas GOP bucked the liberalizing trend within the national Republican Party and compassionately endorsed “gay” reparative or conversion therapy as part of their state’s platform. Under the new plank, Texas Republicans have wisely chosen to stand with ex-gays and other homosexuals seeking hope and help with unwanted same-sex attractions. The newly adopted language specifically recognizes “the legitimacy and efficacy of counseling, which offers reparative therapy and treatment for those patients seeking healing and wholeness from their homosexual lifestyle.” In so doing, the Texas GOP has decided to defend professional freedom and the right to self-determination, not to mention speech and religious liberties as well. And this boldly refreshing decision is also quite consistent with the state platform, which rightly defines marriage as a “God-ordained, legal and moral commitment only between a natural man and a natural woman.”

The event organizers also incited the ire of “gay” Republican groups for not allowing them to set up their perversity-pushing booths in the convention hall. Predictably, the Log Cabin Republicans and Metroplex Republicans protested their exclusion from the convention, but the state GOP leadership refused to capitulate to their media-manipulating tactics and instead opted to uphold traditional values, confirming the fact that LGBTQ civil rights are really nothing more than civil wrongs. Permitting “gay” groups to set up booths serves only to lend unwarranted legitimacy to the homosexual lobby’s unscrupulous efforts to undermine the GOP’s core conservative principles.

Following the Texas Republican state convention’s encouraging stance in favor of sexual normalcy and the family, potential Republican presidential candidate Gov. Rick Perry spoke on Wednesday night at the Commonwealth Club of California, a business event in San Francisco that was focused primarily on economic issues, as part of his trip to lure jobs and businesses away from California to the Lone Star State. However, in response to questions from the audience and interviewer Greg Dalton, he defended his state party’s recent embrace of reparative therapy for the sexually confused. He identified homosexual behavior as a choice by drawing an insightful comparison between homosexuality and alcoholism. And the obsessive-compulsive/addictive nature of both behaviors actually makes for a very compelling correlation.

The conversation veered off topic when Gov. Perry was asked in a written question by an audience member about whether he believed homosexuals could “be cured by prayer or counseling.”

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Perry responded, “I don’t know. I’m not a psychiatrist, I’m not a doctor.”

“Is it a disorder?” pressed club member and moderator Greg Dalton.

The former presidential candidate then proceeded to cite his 2008 book On My Honor in which he defended the recently-abandoned heterosexual values of the Boy Scouts. “I talked about that people make choices in life, and whether or not you feel compelled to follow a particular lifestyle or not, you have the ability to decide not to do that,” Perry explained as he affirmed the existence of human free moral agency over our actions.

The Texas governor continued, “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.”

The Los Angeles Times reported that Perry’s comments resulted in a “smattering of groans and hisses” from the crowd. Perhaps his fearless fortitude, displayed while speaking in the hostile territory of the “gay” Mecca of San Francisco, will inspire a few other Republicans to grow a spine — but don’t hold your breath.

The Texas GOP’s endorsement of reparative/conversion therapy comes in partial reaction to recent bans on Sexual Orientation Change Efforts (SOCE) for minors in New Jersey and California. In stark contradiction to the anti-therapy activists and their predictions that SOCE bans would sweep across the country like sodomy-based marriage, a Christian Post article by Christopher Doyle, Setting the Record Straight on ‘Gay Conversion’ Therapy for Minors, presents the following shocking facts in support of Texas’ recent support for reparative counseling efforts:

Recent legislative efforts by activists in Virginia and Washington have failed, and a hearing in Maryland on similar legislation was cancelled, partly because the lies and half-truths of activists are catching up to them. In Washington, a witness testifying in a January committee hearing said that a licensed therapist forced a child to watch pornography while in an ice bath so that the client would associate sexual arousal with pain. However, when questioned after the hearing, the woman refused to provide the name of the therapist and when it happened; nor was she willing to do any research to help uncover whether, if it had in fact happened, it was a licensed therapist.

In a senate hearing in February, a representative of the Washington Department of Health, which has jurisdiction over professional licensing and fields approximately 10,000 complaints a year, said that the current staff has 11 years of institutional knowledge and no one was aware of a single complaint alleging that a licensed therapist had attempted to coerce someone into not being gay.

This story sounds eerily similar to the disaster witnessed in New Jersey last year, when transgender activist Brielle Goldani claimed to have been sent to a ‘conversion therapy torture camp’ in Ohio in 1997. Goldani alleged to have been electroshocked at the month-long ‘True Directions’ camp in an attempt to make him, now her, straight. Yet, an investigation published at revealed that the entire testimony was a fraud, taken directly out of a Hollywood production starring drag queen RuPaul.

Tall tales of ‘therapy torture’ aside, the larger problem with this legislation is the foundation of facts, or lack thereof, to substantiate such prohibitions. While anti-therapy advocates assert that ‘rigorous studies’ have found SOCE therapy to be ‘harmful’ and ‘ineffective’ for minors, there is no scientific foundation for this assertion. To date, there have been no outcome-based studies published in peer-reviewed journals that have followed minors undergoing SOCE therapy.

During his last presidential bid in 2012, Perry also emphasized his Christian faith in a campaign advertisement entitled “Strong” that debuted late 2011 in Iowa. The spot condemned the military’s perilous repeal of the don’t-ask-don’t-tell policy which prevented open homosexuals from serving in the military.

“I’m not ashamed to admit that I’m a Christian, but you don’t need to be in the pew every Sunday to know there’s something wrong in this country when ‘gays’ can serve openly in the military but our kids can’t openly celebrate Christmas or pray in school,” Perry declared in the advertisement. And he also pledged to stand against the “liberal attacks on our religious heritage.”

Fortunately, Gov. Perry’s latest remarks demonstrate his resolute refusal to back down to the bullies of Big Gay. That’s what presidential poise under pressure looks like.

The opinions expressed by columnists are their own and do not necessarily represent the views of Barb Wire.

Jeff Allen
Jeff Allen is both a senior editor and columnist for BarbWire. He also serves as senior pastor in a mainline Christian church in Indiana. He is an ordained elder in the Church of the Nazarene. Jeff is involved in several community ministries.

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