Rick Perry

14th United States Secretary of Energy
47th Governor of Texas

Wrote an op-ed directly attacking Texas A&M University for allowing a student to serve as the university’s first openly LGBTQ student body president. 

—As governor, championed and signed laws that both banned the recognition of same-sex marriages performed outside of Texas, as well as banned marriages from being performed within the state. (He signed the latter in front of an anti-LGBTQ crowd at an evangelical church-school.)

Compared being gay with alcoholism: “Whether or not you feel compelled to follow a particular lifestyle or not, you have the ability to decide not to do that. 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.”

In his 2008 book, again compared being gay to alcoholism: “Even if an alcoholic is powerless over alcohol once it enters his body, he still makes a choice to drink. And, even if someone is attracted to a person of the same sex, he or she still makes a choice to engage in sexual activity with someone of the same gender.” Called called on “the radical homosexual movement” to “respect the right of millions in society to refuse to normalize their behavior.”

Cited the Lawrence v. Texas ruling that decriminalized sodomy as an example of a case where “Texans have a different view than nine oligarchs in robes.”

Claimed the Boy Scouts decision to admit gay scouts “contradicts generations of tradition in the name of political correctness.”

Pitted job creation against marriage equality: “We’re creating more jobs than any other state in the nation.... Would you rather live in a state like this, or in a state where a man can marry a man?”

Suggested residents who support marriage equality should move to California: “If, you know, you want to live in a state that has high taxes, high regulations, that is favorable toward smoking marijuana and gay marriage, move to California.”

Supported a failed repeal of marriage equality in New Hampshire: “I applaud those legislators in New Hampshire who are working to defend marriage as an institution between one man and one woman, realizing that children need to be raised in a loving home by a mother and a father.”

Stated that the “principled leadership” a former governor showed in resisting slavery was what was needed to stop Boy Scouts from enrolling openly gay youth: “[Texas governor Sam Houston] made a powerful decision that cost him his governorship. He was against slavery. He stood up and very passionately said Texas does not need to leave the union. And he was right, but it cost him his governorship. But that’s the type of principled leadership, that’s the type of courage that I hope people across this country on this issue of scouts and keeping the Boy Scouts the organization it is today because it is serving young men and women. And if we change and become more like pop culture, young men will be not as well served, America will not be as well served, and Boy Scouts will start on a decline that I don’t think will serve this country well as we go into the future.” (*Clip starts at 9:45 mark)


The GLAAD Accountability Project catalogs anti-LGBTQ rhetoric and discriminatory actions of politicians, commentators, organization heads, religious leaders, and legal figures, who have used their platforms, influence and power to spread misinformation and harm LGBTQ people.