Rick Perry: Being gay is similar to being alcoholic

Fresh off a Denver fundraiser, Texas governor Rick Perry today became the fourth GOP candidate to sign the National Organization for Marriage’s anti marriage equality pledge. Thursday night Perry hosted a fundraiser in suburban Denver. Admission was said to be $5,000 a pop.

Of course, Perry’s position on marriage equality is nothing new. In a 2008 book, he wrote:

Even if an alcoholic is powerless over alcohol once it enters his body, he still makes a choice to drink. 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.

Even before Perry signed the pledge to support a constitutional amendment banning same-sex marriage, Brad Clark, executive director of One Colorado, had this to say about Perry’s book, via email:

“Comments like Perry’s simply perpetuate biased untruths and fuel the fires of hatred against gay and lesbian people. Every major medical and psychological association in this country has refuted and rejected comparisons between being gay and alcoholism. Perry’s beliefs are extreme and out-of-touch with everyday people who know, love, and accept their gay and lesbian neighbors, co-workers, and friends for who they are.”

“We have a real problem with that pledge,” One Colorado’s communications manager Jess Cook Woodrum told the Colorado Independent.

She said that while it may seem smart to play to the fringes now, she’s not sure anyone can be elected president with such anti-equality views.

“We’re seeing a real sea change in public opinion on these issues. Recent polls show the majority of Coloradans support civil unions. Eighty percent of Americans supported the repeal of Don’t Ask Don’t Tell, but now even some of the Republicans are talking about going back to that,” Cook Woodrum said.

Already, Perry is drawing unflattering comparisons with Colorado’s own Ken Buck, whose campaign for the Senate seat held by Michael Bennet flamed out at the end partly because of his own national TV comments comparing being gay to being alcoholic.

“I think a pro-equality Republican could receive across the board support, but I think taking these real anti-gay positions will prove problematic when they get to the general election. It will be a real problem for them if they continue with these real anti-gay positions,” Cook Woodrum said.

The invitation to the fundraiser lists House Majority Leader Amy Stephens as a co-host, her spokesperson said she was out of state Friday and unavailable for comment.

The Colorado Independent originally reported the fundraiser was Friday night.

Scot Kersgaard has been managing editor of a political newspaper, editor and co-owner of a ski town newspaper, executive editor of eight high-tech magazines (where he worked with current Apple CEO Tim Cook), deputy press secretary to a U.S. Senator, and an outdoors columnist at the Rocky Mountain News. He has an English degree from the University of Washington. He was awarded a fellowship to study internet journalism at the University of Maryland's Knight Center for Specialized Journalism. He was student body president in college. He spends his free time hiking and skiing.

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