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"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, according to the SF 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."
The newspaper noted that while the crowd included several Perry supporters, his comments still, “drew a murmur of disbelief.”
While the right-wing has long sought to paint sexual orientation as a “lifestyle choice” to be remedied by therapy, one need not look further than the ample, well-documented, medically accurate and scientifically proven studies to show otherwise. Major health organizations like the American Psychological Association and the World Health Organization have invalidated and denounced reparative therapy, with the WHO describing it as a “a serious threat to the health and well-being — even the lives — of affected people.”
And even some of the medical professionals who once supported the idea have since reversed course— physiatrist Dr. L. Spitzer, author of a study advocating conversion therapy, later apologized, condemned the practice and recanted his research findings.
Fred Sainz, vice president for communications at the Human Rights Campaign (HRC), had this apt zinger for 'ol Goodhair: "Although he may not have the 'genetic coding' to think before he speaks, Rick Perry, M.D. should have a real conversation with actual doctors before voicing his expertise on these issues."