Thursday, May 28, 2015

Rick Santorum’s Tired Old Song: Turn Back the Clock on Marriage Equality

Ahead of his expected campaign launch today, the Human Rights Campaign (HRC), the nation’s largest lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) civil rights organization, released a video highlighting presidential candidate Rick Santorum, in his own words, using harmful rhetoric to oppose LGBT equality. During his long history opposing same-sex marriage, Santorum has suggested he wants to “turn back the clock” on the gains made towards full marriage equality.

“Rick Santorum has shown just how completely disconnected from reality he is when he campaigns on turning back the clock on marriage equality,” said JoDee Winterhof, HRC’s Vice President for Policy and Political Affairs. “Rick Santorum’s retrograde campaign to turn back the clock on marriage equality isn’t just hopelessly outdated, it stands in stark contrast to the reality that nearly half the country knows an LGBT couple that has gotten married and 60 percent of voters who now support marriage equality.”

Santorum notoriously compared same-sex marriage to bestiality in 2003, saying “In every society, the definition of marriage has not ever to my knowledge included homosexuality. That's not to pick on homosexuality. It's not, you know, man on child, man on dog, or whatever the case may be.”

Highlights on Rick Santorum’s Anti-LGBT Record:

Overview: Rick Santorum has opposed LGBT equality for nearly his entire career, beginning with his campaign for a constitutional amendment to ban same-sex marriage in Pennsylvania. But he’s gone even further, saying he wants to “turn back the clock” on same-sex marriage. Santorum has even gone so far as to campaign against Iowa Supreme Court Judges who ruled in favor of marriage equality. [Citations/Full Research Brief]

On Marriage Equality: There’s been no change in Rick Santorum’s opposition to marriage equality. From when he said that same-sex marriage should be outlawed because it was leading to fewer marriages to his campaign for 2016 when he said that “restoring” marriage was the most important thing he could do in the campaign, Santorum has continued to stand against marriage equality. [Citations/Full Research Brief]

On LGBT Discrimination: Santorum voted against the Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA), which would have outlawed employment discrimination based on sexual orientation. He said the legislation created “special privileges.” He also defended Indiana Gov. Mike Pence’s right to discriminate legislation. [Citations/Full Research Brief]

On Conversion Therapy: Just like “conversion therapy” advocates who believe that LGBT people can be “changed,” Santorum has said that sexual orientation is a choice, and he’s campaigned with some of the leading groups behind the widely discredited practice. [Citations/Full Research Brief]

Anti-Bullying: Opposed hate crimes laws, because he said they would be used to persecute Christians. [Citations/Full Research Brief]

Adoption: Opposed the ability of same-sex couples to adopt children, but said a federal ban was not necessary because not every state is home to LGBT couples. [Citations/Full Research Brief]