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CNBC Excerpt: Governor Rick Perry Comments on Marriage Equality on CNBC's "Squawk Box" Today

WHEN: TODAY, MONDAY, JUNE 16TH

WHERE: CNBC'S "SQUAWK BOX"

Following is an excerpt from the unofficial transcript of a CNBC interview with Governor Rick Perry. Following is a link to the video on CNBC.com: http://video.cnbc.com/gallery/?video=3000284844&play=1. All references must be sourced to CNBC.

KERNEN: ABOUT A YEAR AGO A YEAR AND A HALF AGO, SPEAKING OF ERIC CANTOR WE HAD HIM ON AND WE HAD A LITTLE EXTRA TIME AT THE END SO I ASKED HIM ABOUT MARRIAGE EQUALITY, AND HE WEIGHED IN WITH ME ON HIS VIEW THAT EVERYBODY'S OPINION SHOULD BE HONORED, AND HIS VIEW THAT HE WAS AGAINST IT BECAUSE, WITH HIS RELIGION HE DIDN'T THINK IT SHOULD HAPPEN. I SAID WELL ERIC NO ONE'S ASKING YOU TO MARRY A MAN. WHY DOES IT MATTER TO YOU IF A GAY COUPLE WANTS TO GET MARRIED? NOW MORE RECENTLY, LEADING INTO YOUR COMMENTS, I'M NOT – CAN YOU EXPLAIN WHAT HAPPENED IN SAN FRANCISCO, AND JUST WHAT WERE THOSE COMMENTS ABOUT HOMOSEXUALITY WITH -- I DON'T THINK YOUR REPRESENTATIVE WAS AVAILABLE TO COMMENT ON IT SO I DON'T KNOW IF YOU'VE COMMENTED ON IT. BUT WHAT WERE YOU TALKING ABOUT. WHAT DID YOU MEAN?

RICK PERRY: WELL, THE GRANDER CONVERSATION WE WERE HAVING WAS A TENTH AMENDMENT CONVERSATION WHERE WE WERE TALKING ABOUT STATES BEING ABLE TO DECIDE THESE ISSUES. AND FRANKLY THAT'S WHAT I THINK WE NEED TO BE FOCUSED ON IN THIS COUNTRY. IS ALLOWING THE STATES, WHETHER IT'S THESE ONEROUS EPA REGULATIONS OR WHETHER IT'S ISSUES THAT DEAL WITH EDUCATION OR TRANSPORTATION INFRASTRUCTURE OR SAME-SEX MARRIAGE. STATES SHOULD BE ABLE TO MAKE THOSE DECISIONS THEMSELVES.BY THE MAJORITY OF THE PEOPLE IN THEIR STATES MAKING THE DECISION. THE IDEA THAT ONE SIZE FITS ALL COMING OUT OF WASHINGTON, D.C. IS JUST -- IT'S NOT GOING TO WORK.

KERNEN: IF TEXAS DECIDED THAT GAY MARRIAGE WAS OKAY, YOU'D BE ALL RIGHT WITH THAT?

PERRY: WELL, TEXAS HAS MADE THE DECISION ON THAT ALREADY BY A VOTE OF OVER 75%. THEY SAID THAT MARRIAGE IS BETWEEN ONE MAN AND ONE WOMAN. AND I RESPECT THAT. AND I RESPECT WHATEVER THEY WANT TO DO IN CALIFORNIA, OR NEW YORK. FOR THAT MATTER.

KERNEN: OKAY. IN TERMS OF COMPARING IT TO ALCOHOLISM. THAT'S WHAT GOT ALL THE PLAY, AND I DON'T -- I HAVE A REALLY HIGH BAR FOR WHAT I WOULD TAKE OFFENSE TO. BUT THAT WOULD EXCEED THE BAR FOR ME ON BEING AN OFFENSIVE COMMENT. I DON'T THINK GAY MARRIAGE LEADS TO CIRRHOSIS OF THE LIVER OR DOMESTIC VIOLENCE OR DWIS. I DON'T SEE HOW THAT'S SIMILAR.

PERRY: I UNDERSTAND. PEOPLE HAVE DIFFERENT OPINIONS ABOUT THAT. THE INTERESTING THING FOR ME IS THAT THIS CONVERSATION HAS ALWAYS BEEN ABOUT THE STATE'S RIGHTS TO MAKE DECISIONS ON THIS HOST OF ISSUES. AND THE IDEA THAT SOMEHOW OR ANOTHER WASHINGTON SHOULD BE GIVEN TOTAL AND FULL ABILITY TO MAKE --

KERNEN: I GET THAT. BUT IN TERMS OF CHANGING THE BEHAVIOR OF SOMEONE. I DON'T THINK -- YOU WOULDN'T THINK THAT SOMEONE WHO'S HETEROSEXUAL, THAT YOU COULDN'T CHANGE THEM INTO A HOMOSEXUAL OR SOMEONE WHO IS HOMOSEXUAL, YOU DON'T THINK THAT THERE SHOULD BE THERAPY TO TRY TO CHANGE THEM INTO A HETEROSEXUAL?

PERRY: YOU KNOW, I DON'T KNOW. THE FACT IS, WE'LL LEAVE THAT TO THE PSYCHOLOGISTS AND THE DOCTORS.

KERNEN: THE PSYCHOLOGISTS THEY'VE ALREADY WEIGHED IN. THEY'VE DISMISSED THE IDEA THAT SEXUAL ORIENTATION IS A MENTAL DISORDER. AND THEY'VE TOLD THEIR MENTAL HEALTH PROFESSIONALS TO AVOID TELLING CLIENTS THAT YOU CAN CHANGE YOUR SEXUAL ORIENTATION – I WAS THINKING FOR US, CONSERVATIVE, IF I COULD CHANGE BIG GOVERNMENT, HIGH TAX PROGRESSIVES INTO FISCALLY -- THAT'S WHERE I WOULD WORK. THAT'S THE KIND OF PEOPLE --

PERRY: WELL, AND THAT'S EXACTLY WHAT WE WERE TALKING ABOUT IN SAN FRANCISCO.

KERNEN: IF I HAD TO CHANGE SOMEONE --

PERRY: AND WE GOT DEFLECTED OFF ONTO THIS OTHER ISSUE THAT QUITE FRANKLY IS A VERY CONTENTIOUS ISSUE SO I GO BACK AND TALK ABOUT THE FOCUS NEEDS TO BE ON CREATING JOBS, AND CREATING THE ENVIRONMENT IN THIS COUNTRY.

KERNEN: RIGHT.

PERRY: THAT PEOPLE CAN, YOU KNOW, FIND THE PLACES THEY WANT TO LIVE. LIVE UNDER THE RULES IF THEY WANT TO LIVE, AND THAT'S BEING CONSTRICTED SUBSTANTIALLY BY A PRESIDENT THAT'S BASICALLY PUTTING EPA REGULATIONS INTO PLACE THAT ARE STRANGLING THIS COUNTRY.

KERNEN: IF YOU WERE TO RUN AGAIN, YOU WOULD NOT -- THERE ARE UPSTANDING GAY COUPLES, GOOD CITIZENS THAT ARE GOOD PARENTS, THAT -- AND YOU WOULD AGREE WITH THAT. AND THESE ARE PEOPLE THAT ARE GOING TO BE WITH US FOREVER. JUST SEEMS LIKE THE REPUBLICAN PARTY IS GOING TO BE FOREVER BEHIND THE CURVE ON ISSUES LIKE THIS. AND IT DOESN'T HELP THE PARTY WIN ELECTIONS.

PERRY: I DON'T NECESSARILY CONDONE THAT LIFESTYLE. I DON'T CONDEMN IT, EITHER. WE'RE ALL CHILDREN OF GOD. AND THE FACT IS THAT PEOPLE WILL DECIDE WHERE THEY WANT TO LIVE, IF WASHINGTON WILL RESPECT THE TENTH AMENDMENT. AND I THINK THAT WILL MAKE AMERICA SUBSTANTIALLY HAPPIER. HAPPIER IF THEY WILL RESPECT THAT AND ALLOW PEOPLE TO DECIDE HOW THEY WANT TO LIVE AND UNDER WHAT RULES AND REGULATIONS.

KERNEN: ALL RIGHT.

PERRY: ALL RIGHT. FAIR ENOUGH.

KERNEN: FAIR ENOUGH, GOVERNOR. APPRECIATE YOUR TIME. LIKE I SAID, I KNOW WHO I WANT TO CHANGE. IT'S SIMPLE. I DON'T CARE WHAT YOUR SEXUAL ORIENTATION IS OR ANYTHING ELSE, PERSONAL FREEDOM, EARNED SUCCESS, INDIVIDUAL INITIATIVE, SMALL GOVERNMENT, LOW TAXES.

PERRY: SOUNDS LIKE YOU NEED TO COME LIVE IN TEXAS.

KERNEN: I NEED TO COME LIVE IN TEXAS, TOO. I DON'T KNOW. APPRECIATE YOUR TIME. THANK YOU.

PERRY: WELCOME. GODSPEED.

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