Perry deflected by pretending he had been asked about states’ rights, the 10th Amendment, job creation, the Environmental Protection Agency and President Obama. Kernan pressed on.
“You don’t think there should be therapy to try to change [a homosexual person] into a heterosexual?” asked Kernan.
Perry then claimed ignorance and, tellingly, didn’t mention alcoholism this time around.
“I don’t know,” he said. “The fact is, we’ll leave that to the psychologists and the doctors to decide. … I don’t necessarily condone that lifestyle. I don’t condemn it either. We’re all children of God.”
Whatever Perry actually thinks, I can tell you his own Texas GOP has consistently condemned homosexuality, and, earlier this month, endorsed exactly such so-called “reparative therapy.”
I took it upon myself to compare the state party’s 2010, 2012 and 2014 platforms. I found minimal differences between the 2010 and 2012 entries under the heading: “Homosexuality.”
“We affirm that the practice of homosexuality tears at the fabric of society and contributes to the breakdown of the family unit,” reads the 2012 version. “Homosexual behavior is contrary to the fundamental, unchanging truths that have been ordained by God, recognized by our country’s founders, and shared by the majority of Texans.”
At the 2014 Republican State Convention, held June 5 to 7 at the Fort Worth Convention Center, the party approved a consequential addendum. The draft language was first revealed by David Rauf of the San Antonio Express-News.
“We recognize the legitimacy and value of counseling which offers reparative therapy and treatment to patients who are seeking escape from the homosexual lifestyle,” reads the new language. “No laws or executive orders shall be imposed to limit or restrict access to this type of therapy.”
I find it highly unlikely Perry doesn’t know his own state party’s position on reparative therapy — the practice of which has been roundly discredited by the medical community. Perry and his ilk are delusional. If anyone needs psychological help, it’s them.
Rob Burgess, Tribune night editor, may be reached by calling 765-454-8577, via email at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter at twitter.com/robaburg.