12/13/2011 10:53 am ET Updated Dec 13, 2011

James Inhofe Stands By Rick Perry, Talks Bestiality, Gays In The Military

Sen. James Inhofe (R-Okla.) told the Tulsa Metro Chamber of Commerce Monday that the repeal of the "don't ask, don't tell" policy did not "legalize bestiality."

He said that the repeal of the law banning gays from serving in the military allowed gays to "go in the military, go wide open, and use that for their agenda" but that bestiality had not been legalized. "When you go out and talk to people on the street, they'll tell you, 'Oh, they've legalized bestiality,' ... but that hasn't changed," he said, according to the Tulsa World.

A provision in the National Defense Authorization Act would repeal the military's prohibition on sodomy and sex with animals. Senate Armed Services Committee Chairman Carl Levin (D-Mich.) said the repeal was necessary because the provision is no longer constitutional after the Supreme Court struck down Texas' anti-sodomy law in Lawrence v. Texas in 2003. The Pentagon said sex with animals would still be illegal if the code was repealed: It would be considered "prejudicial to good order and discipline" and subject to court martial.

Inhofe also said he was standing by his endorsement of Texas Gov. Rick Perry for president despite his multiple gaffes. "As the weeks and months go by, Rick Perry is one who has demonstrated he's electable," he said. "Sure, he had a bad gaffe, but he's the one I think would be most electable."

A poll released on Nov. 15 by Public Policy Polling showed Perry losing to President Barack Obama by a 49-39 margin. Mitt Romney fared better, losing to Obama by a 46-43 margin, with Ron Paul trailing by a 47-41 margin.