(CNSNews.com) – Texas Gov. Rick Perry said he views homosexual behavior the same way he views alcoholic behavior, in that a person may be inclined to behave a certain way because of their genetic makeup but they also “have the ability not to do that.”
It is a view he also expressed in his 2008 book on the Boy Scouts, On My Honor, defending them against the attacks of gay and liberal activists.
“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 on Wednesday at the Commonwealth Club of California in San Francisco.
"I may have the genetic coding that I'm inclined to be an alcoholic," he said, "but I have the desire not to do that, and I look at the homosexual issue the same way."
Perry expressed a similar view in his 2008 book, On My Honor: Why the American Values of the Boy Scouts Are Worth Fighting For, which examined how liberal groups and gay activists had attacked the Boy Scouts since 1976 to change its policies on membership.
In the book, Perry says, “Though I am no expert on the ‘nature versus nurture’ debate, I can sympathize with those who believe sexual preference is genetic. It may be so, but it remains unproved. Even if it were, this does not mean we are ultimately not responsible for the active choices we make.”
“Even if an alcoholic is powerless over alcohol once it enters his body, he still makes a choice to drink,” said Perry. “And, even if someone is attracted to a person of the same sex, he or she still makes a choice to engage in sexual activity with someone of the same gender.”
Perry went on to explain that this does not mean people should condemn those who engage in homosexual behavior, for their lives are just as valuable in the eyes of God as anyone else’s life. But freedom to engage in homosexual behavior does not mean that millions of Americans have to accept, or “normalize” that behavior in society.
“A loving, tolerant view toward those who have a different sexual preference is the ideal position – for both the heterosexual and the homosexual,” said Perry. “I do not believe in condemning homosexuals that I know personally. I believe in valuing their lives like any others, as our God in Heaven does.”
“Tolerance, however, should not only be asked of the proponents of traditional values,” the governor said. “The radical homosexual movement seeks societal normalization of their sexual activity. I respect their right to engage in the individual behavior of their choosing, but they must respect the rights of millions in society to refuse to normalize their behavior.”
Rick Perry is the 47th governor of Texas. He is a Republican but prior to 1989 he was a Democrat. Perry, as a young man, earned the rank of Eagle Scout in the Boy Scouts of America, and the BSA honored him with the Distinguished Eagle Scout Award.