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CNBC Host Goes After Rick Perry Over Offensive Gay Alcoholic Remarks

by Jason St. Amand
National News Editor
Monday Jun 16, 2014

Joe Kernan, host of CNBC's "Squawk Box," called out Republican Texas Gov. Rick Perry Monday morning for the controversial remarks he made last week comparing homosexuality to alcoholism.

"In terms of comparing it to alcoholism, that's what got all the play, and I have a really high bar for what I would take offense to, but that would exceed the bar for me on being an offensive comment," Kernan said. "I don't think gay marriage leads to cirrhosis of the liver or domestic violence or DWIs. I don't see how that's similar."

Perry said he "understands" people have "different opinions about that" before launching off on how he believes states should have the right to make decisions on gay marriage, rather than Washington.

"I get that," the TV show host says, interrupting Perry. "But in terms of changing the behavior of someone, you wouldn't think that someone who's heterosexual, that you couldn't change them into a homosexual, or someone who is homosexual, you don't think that there should be therapy to try to change them into a heterosexual?"

"I don't know," Perry says, adding that it should be "left to the psychologists and the doctors." Kernan didn't let the governor get away with that remark.

"The psychologists they've already weighed in," he said. "They've dismissed the idea that sexual orientation is a mental disorder and they've told their mental health professionals to avoid telling clients that you can change your sexual orientation."

Kernan tells Perry there are "upstanding" same-sex couples who are "good citizens and good parents" and that these are people "who are going to be with us forever. It just seems like the Republican Party is going to be forever behind the curve on this issue."

Perry responds: "I don't necessarily condone that lifestyle. I don't condemn it either. We're all children of God. The fact is that people will decide where they want to live if Washington will respect the 10th Amendment and I think that will make America substantially happier if they will respect that and allow people to decide how they want to live and under what rules and regulations."

Kernan isn't the only person to take issue with Perry's remarks. Last week, New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie commented on the Texas governor's statements, saying "I don't believe that's an apt analogy and not one that should be made because I think it's wrong." He added, however, that governors and other public officials can say what they want about hot button issues.

H/T Towleroad

Watch the clip below:


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