US: Anti-gay governor Rick Perry appears in court for mugshot over abuse of power charge
Notoriously anti-gay Texas governor Rick Perry had his mugshot taken in an Austin courthouse yesterday, after being indicted on an abuse of power charge.
He was indicted by a grand jury last week, and is now facing a charge of abuse of official capacity, which carries a prison sentence of five to 99 years.
He is accused of vetoing $7.2 million (£4.3m) in funding to a Public Integrity unit investigating corruption, after its Democratic state prosecutor Rosemary Lehmburg – convicted of drink driving in 2013 – rejected calls to resign.
Appearing at Travis County courthouse yesterday to have his mugshot taken, Perry protested his innocence.
He said: “I’m here today because I believe in the rule of law and I’m here today because I did the right thing.
“I’m going to enter this courthouse with my head held high, knowing that the actions that I took were not only lawful and legal but right
“And if I had to do so, I would veto funding for the public integrity unit again.”
His next court date had been set for August 29, but has been moved forward to Friday, August 22.
Perry later defiantly took part in a photo opportunity, appearing outside an ice cream shop.
— felix (@Felix_Browne) August 19, 2014
In June, Perry was criticised for comparing homosexuality to alcoholism.
He said: “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.”