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Rick Perry Defers To Scientists On Gay Conversion Therapy, Forgets They Already Trashed It

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Gov. Rick Perry said on Monday that he wasn't sure whether therapy designed to change an individual's sexual orientation was effective. (AP Photo/Rex C. Curry)
Gov. Rick Perry said on Monday that he wasn't sure whether therapy designed to change an individual's sexual orientation was effective. (AP Photo/Rex C. Curry)

Texas Gov. Rick Perry (R) said Monday that he wasn't sure whether it's possible to stop someone from being gay through a process known as conversion therapy, saying he would defer to the medical and mental health community's opinion on the matter.

His comments came during an interview on CNBC's Squawk Box, in which he addressed his recent remarks comparing homosexuality and alcoholism.

"I don't think gay marriage leads to cirrhosis of the liver, or domestic violence, or DUIs -- I don't see how that's similar," said CNBC host Joe Kernan, pushing Perry on his comments. He then asked the governor if he believed that therapy could change someone's sexual orientation.

"I don't know. The fact is, we'll leave that to the psychologists and the doctors to decide," replied Perry, later adding, "I don't necessarily condone that lifestyle. I don't condemn it either. We're all children of God."

In fact, the medical community has already made its decision. The American Psychological Association has advised its members not to tell clients that therapy can change their sexual orientation. Another group, the American Psychiatric Association, has said the changing sexual orientation "is not an appropriate goal of psychiatric treatment."

Last week, Perry was asked at an event in San Francisco about the Texas Republican Party's decision to support conversion therapy in the platform it approved at its recent convention. He said he did not know if the therapy was effective. But when he was asked whether homosexuality was a disorder, he said, "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."

Watch a video of Perry's comments on CNBC above.

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