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Rick Perry likens homosexuality to alcoholism

Texas Gov. Rick Perry (R). (Justin Hayworth/AP)

Texas Gov. Rick Perry (R) compared homosexuality to alcoholism Wednesday, arguing that both can be overcome.

"Whether or not you feel compelled to follow a particular lifestyle or not, you have the ability to decide not to do that," Perry said during an appearance at the Commonwealth Club of California, according to the San Francisco Chronicle newspaper. "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 has advanced an argument along the same lines before. In his 2008 book, he wrote, "Even if an alcoholic is powerless over alcohol once it enters his body, he still makes a choice to drink,” adding, "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."

Perry, who ran for president unsuccessfully in 2012, is viewed as a potential 2016 candidate. He is stepping down as governor at the end of his current term.