Texas Governor Rick Perry attends the second Annual Champions of Jewish Values International Awards Gala in New York on May 18, 2014.
Mike Segar/Reuters

Rick Perry explains his comment comparing homosexuality to alcoholism

Updated

Texas’s Republican Governor Rick Perry was asked on Monday to explain his views on gay rights.

A CNBC news anchor questioned the lawmaker about comments he allegedly made last week comparing homosexuality to alcoholism, which msnbc previously reported.

“Whether or not you feel compelled to follow a particular lifestyle or not, you have the ability to decide not to do that,” Perry allegedly said at an event in San Francisco. “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.”

CNBC’s Joe Kernan, co-anchor of “The Squawk Box,” on Monday questioned Perry about how gay marriage could lead to cirrhosis of the liver, domestic violence, or drunk-driving charges.

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“I don’t necessarily condone that lifestyle. I don’t condemn it, either. We’re all children of God. And the fact is that people will decide where they want to live if Washington will respect the Tenth Amendment,” Perry said during the interview.

Perry also said Washington shouldn’t be given full ability to decide on such issues because people will choose how they want to live and under what rules and regulations.

Perry last week said he didn’t know if “reparative therapy” – a process meant to counsel people to change their sexual orientation – could be successful. But on Monday, he said he will allow psychologists and doctors to make the conclusion.

Texas moved to join 19 states and the District of Columbia earlier this year in allowing gay couples to wed legally. A federal judge in February struck down the southern state’s nine-year-old amendment banning same-sex nuptials.

“[Texans] said that marriage is between one man and one woman,” Perry added, “and I respect that.”

Perry, who ran for the GOP presidential nomination in the 2012 election, is eyeing another possible presidential bid in 2016 as he serves his last term as governor.

Gay Rights, Rick Perry and Texas

Rick Perry explains his comment comparing homosexuality to alcoholism

Updated