Anti-gay Republican Rick Perry drops out of Presidential race

Anti-gay Republican Rick Perry has dropped out of the race for his party’s Presidential nomination.

A record number of Republicans are vying to run for the White House in 2016, with an unprecedented 17 candidates throwing their hats in the ring.

However, former Governor of Texas Rick Perry has become one of the first to buckle under pressure and drop out of the race.

Perry was known for his militant opposition to LGBT rights laws, and was one of the most notoriously homophobic politicians in contention.

In July he launched an attack on the Boy Scouts of America – after the organisation opted to end a ban on openly gay scoutmasters.

He claimed: “I believe that scouting would be better off if they didn’t have openly gay scoutmasters.”

He also earned flack earlier this year compared homosexuality to alcoholism last year.

He had claimed: 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.”

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

Perry this week admitted defeat in his Presidential run – having been crowded out in opinion polls by figures including Donald Trump, Jeb Bush, Mike Huckabee and Ben Carson.

He said: “Today, I am suspending my campaign for the presidency of the United States.

“I share this news with no regrets. It has been a privilege and an honour to travel this country, to speak with the American people about their hopes and dreams, to see a sense of optimism prevalent despite a season of cynical politics.”

“We have a tremendous field – the best in a generation – so I step aside knowing our party is in good hands, and as long as we listen to the grassroots, the cause of conservatism will be too.”

Jeb Bush, Ben Carson, Chris Christie, Ted Cruz, Carly Fiorina, Jim Gilmore, Lindsey Graham, Mike Huckabee, Bobby Jindal, John Kasich, George Pataki, Rand Paul, Marco Rubio, Rick Santorum, Donald Trump and Scott Walker all still in the running.