Rick Perry, presidential contender and the Republican Party's version of a Very Special Blossom Episode, said today he'd listen to scientific professionals on whether gay-conversion therapy works. Which is weird, since he thinks scientific professionals who study climate or uteruses are basically charlatans.
The Texas governor has been backspinning since a San Francisco speech last week in which he defended clinical gay-fixin' as something worth funding with Lone Star State tax dollars:
"Whether or not you feel compelled to follow a particular lifestyle or not, you have the ability to decide not to do that," the governor said at the Commonwealth Club of California. "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."
Perry was responding to the Texas Republican Party's recent decision to support access to "reparative therapy" for homosexuals in its public platform.
By way of clarification Monday, Perry explained on CNBC that whether or not the therapy works is a question for sciencey-types, not politicians. But, you know, fund it now:
The Texas governor largely skirted questions regarding his comments last week, in which he appeared to suggest that homosexuality is a disorder, and refusing to say whether homosexuality therapy was legitimate or not.
"I don't know," the Republican governor said on CNBC when asked whether he believes that there should be therapy programs to "cure" homosexuality. "The fact is, we'll leave that to the psychologists and the doctors."
Seems a sensible decision: Let shrinks and physicians do the psychology and doctoring. Would that Perry felt that way about, well, any other aspects of empirical reality.
Like Perry's dismissal of climate science in 2011:
I do believe that the issue of global warming has been politicized. I think there are a substantial number of scientists who have manipulated data so that they will have dollars rolling into their projects... I do not buy into a group of scientists who have in some cases found to be manipulating this information.
And the cost to the country and the world of implementing these anti-carbon programs is in the billions if not trillions of dollars at the end of the day. And I don't think, from my perspective, that I want America to be engaged in spending that much money still on a scientific theory that has not been proven, and from my perspective, is being put more and more into question.
Well. Certainly, though, he trusts doctors in their difficult, unsettled search for the moments where life and viability of a new human begin. Right?
We passed a bill that protects unborn babies after the fifth month of a pregnancy, near a point where we know children born can survive, and thrive, with appropriate care...
Our opponents claimed this was an unreasonable request. I suppose they figured we could just trust the abortion industry to care about the needs of Texas women.
But we know better.
We've witnessed far too many stories...from Philadelphia to Houston and elsewhere, about reckless doctors performing abortions in horrific conditions...
Nowhere even in Roe v. Wade does it say our state owes the abortion industry a high profit margin.
Perhaps beleaguered Texas OB/GYNs will consider retooling as gay-conversion therapists, since the state will apparently subsidize those doctors' profits.
Which reminds us: Does anyone when Rick Perry will get an answer to his probing scientific question? How do psychologists and doctors feel about gay-conversion theories? When will there emerge an empirical consensus?
Oh, probably somewhere around August 5, 2009.
[Photo credit: AP Images]