Texas Gov. Rick Perry said he “stepped right in it” - but didn't actually apologize or take back his past comments - when he compared homosexuality to alcoholism last week during a visit to liberal-leaning, gay-friendly, San Francisco.
“I got asked about issues, and instead of saying 'you know what, we need to be a really respectful and tolerant country to everybody, and get back to talking about, whether you're gay or straight, you need to be having a job, and those are the focuses that I want to be involved with,’ he said during an event hosted by the Christian Science Monitor on Thursday in Washington, D.C. “I readily admit I stepped right in it.”
He stepped right in it on June 11, when in a question-and-answer session at the Commonwealth Club of California in San Francisco, he was asked about the Texas Republican Party's adoption this month of supporting access to "reparative therapy" for gays and lesbians - a disproven process intended to change sexual orientation.
Perry's answer: "I don't know. I'm not a psychologist. I'm not a doctor."
Commonwealth Club interviewer Greg Dalton then asked him whether he believed homosexuality is a disorder.
"Whether or not you feel compelled to follow a particular lifestyle or not, you have the ability to decide not to do that," Perry answered. "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 comment made national headlines and prompted condemnation from gay rights groups and high-powered politicians including California Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom, a Democrat who married the first same-sex couples in San Francisco when he was mayor in 2004. Newsom, who also went to rehab in 2007 for alcholism, tweeted that Perry "must apologize for (his) ignorant and hateful remarks."
Perry, who is considering his second run for the White House run in 2016, never actually said "I'm sorry" for the remarks, and he never took back his analogy while speaking at the Christian Science Monitor event.
To see excerpts of his Commonwealth Club and Christian Science Monitor speeches.
The Associated Press and NBC News contributed to this report.