Texas Gov. Rick Perry admitted Thursday he had yet another “oops” moment when he recently compared homosexuality to alcoholism.
“I got asked about an issue, and instead of saying, ‘You know what, we need to be a really respectful and tolerant country, and get back to talking about, whether you’re gay or straight you need to be having a job, and those are the focuses I want to be involved with,’” he said at a Christian Science Monitor event. ”Instead of getting — which I did, I readily admit, I stepped right in it.”
Perry continued, “If you’re really going to be the party that’s going to go talk to everybody and say, ‘Listen, you may not agree with all of my positions, but getting you and your family, your loved ones the opportunity to live a better life because we have created a climate in this country where you’re going to have a job and a good job and a good paying job,’ if we’ll do that, then I think we’ll be successful.”
Perry’s original comments came during a conversation about “reparative,” or gay conversion, therapy that Texas Republicans formally endorsed in their party platform just this week. Practitioners of the controversial therapy claim to be able to turn homosexuals straight with a variety of techniques that critics argue are both psychologically damaging and ineffective.
“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 June 11, according to The San Francisco Chronicle. “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 reflected Thursday on his 2012 presidential run, which he described as both “humbling” and “painful” while stopping short of ruling out taking another shot at the White House in 2016.
“I am glad I ran in 2012, as frustrating, as painful and as humbling as that experience was,” he said, adding later, “Being prepared both physically and mentally is very important.”
Abigail Williams contributed to this report.