US: Lesbian Speaker rips into Rick Perry for ‘homosexuality is like alcoholism’ jibe

Illustrated rainbow pride flag on a pink background.

The openly gay Speaker of the California Assembly has ripped into Texas Governor Rick Perry for comparing homosexuality to alcoholism.

Perry arose controversy last week, when he made the comparison at an event in San Fransicso.

He had said: “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.”

Toni Atkins, who made history as California’s first openly lesbian Speaker when she was elected in January, took a jab at the Republican at a Women’s Conference last night.

She said, to cheers from the crowd: “Thank you for your concern, Governor Perry, but I am not addicted to anything other than coffee.”

The San Diego Democrat also told the crowd she was not being “courageous” by kissing her female spouse when she was sworn in last month.

She praised California for its tolerance, but noted that there are “places and times and ways that I probably wouldn’t feel very comfortable taking Jennifer’s hand”, adding: “We still have work to do”.

Perry attempted to back away from the comparison earlier this week, claiming he got “deflected” onto a “contentious issue”.

He had previously recieved admonishment from New Jersey governor Chris Christie and newly-out actress Ellen Page