Last edited: January 25, 2005

Santorum Supports Previous Comments on Homosexuals

Scranton Times Tribune, July 8, 2003
149 Penn Avenue, Scranton, PA 18503
Fax: 717-348-9135

By Borys Krawczeniuk, Tribune Staff Writer

U.S. Sen. Rick Santorum said Monday he has no regrets about his controversial remarks equating homosexual acts to bigamy, polygamy and incest and suggested legalizing homosexual marriage would threaten heterosexual marriage’s role in “the continuation of civilization.”

Mr. Santorum, R-Penn Hills, also said the June 26 United States Supreme Court ruling that struck down a Texas law barring sodomy is wrong.

He cited Justice Antonin Scalia’s dissenting opinion, which predicted the ruling would stop governments from passing bills to regulate morality. He also defended his April statements to an Associated Press reporter.

“I don’t have any regrets at all about anything I said,” Mr. Santorum said during an appearance in Scranton. The ruling altered “the people’s ability to, through their laws, decide what’s moral and what’s not moral and what should be legal and not legal. And I think (it) fundamentally alters the landscape of what marriage is going to look like in the future.”

Mr. Santorum said gay marriage should not be legal because marriage’s purpose is “creating a unique bond for the raising of children and for the continuation of our, of civilization.

“That’s the unique role of marriage, (it’s) that special relationship between a man and a woman who have children and to create a nurturing and positive atmosphere for children. That’s why marriage, in every civilization known to man, has been a unique and respected institution. And when you talk about things other than that relationship ... you get away from the fundamental point of why marriage is sacred.”

David Smith, a spokesman for the Human Rights Campaign, a gay-rights group, said Mr. Santorum implies civilization will end if homosexual marriage is allowed – which he called ridiculous.

Mr. Santorum, who claims to be a champion of family values, should respect gay families or risk ending up “on the wrong side of history,” Mr. Smith said.

“Gay families are living in nearly every county in the country and many are raising children and those families deserve the same rights and protections other families have,” Mr. Smith said by telephone from Washington, D.C. “Religion will still be able to define what is marriage. Nobody is ever going to change that. But the state should treat all people equally and fairly and that includes extending civil marriage rights to gay couples.”

But Michael Geer, president of the Harrisburg-based Pennsylvania Family Institute, said Mr. Santorum’s latest remarks are right on the mark.

A decade before the January 1973 Supreme Court ruling that legalized abortion, few thought an early 1960s court ruling on birth control would become the abortion ruling’s basis, he said.

“The concerns he expressed before the ruling are not lessened,” Mr. Geer said. “They’re validated by this decision.”

In April, Mr. Santorum said: “If the Supreme Court says that you have the right to consensual (gay) sex within your home, then you have the right to bigamy, you have the right to polygamy, you have the right to incest, you have the right to adultery. You have the right to anything.”

The statement sparked a national furor among gay and lesbian rights activists, who called for Mr. Santorum’s ouster from a top Republican post. The White House backed Mr. Santorum, who remains chairman of the Senate Republican Conference.

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