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Rick Santorum: Compares same-sex marriage to 9/11

Withdrew Candidacy
 

Rick Santorum: Compares same-sex marriage to 9/11

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.

Marriage : 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.

Discrimination: Santorum voted against the Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA), which would have outlawed employment discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity. He said the legislation created “special privileges.” He also defended Indiana Gov. Mike Pence’s right to discriminate legislation.

Executive Order: Unclear

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.

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.

Anti-Bullying: Opposed hate crimes laws, because he said they would be used to persecute Christians.

Harmful Rhetoric : Defended the homophobic comments made by a Duck Dynasty cast member, and bragged he was the first politician to do so.

 

Santorum’s Notable Quotes on LGBT Equality

Santorum Compared Massachusetts Supreme Court Decision That Approved Same-Sex Marriage To The 9/11 Terrorist Attack. According to Morning Call, on Massachusetts Supreme Court’s decision to approve same-sex marriage, Santorum said, “This is an issue just like 9-11 […] We didn't decide we wanted to fight the war on terrorism because we wanted to. It was brought to us. And if not now, when? When the supreme courts in all the other states have succumbed to the Massachusetts version of the law?” [Morning Call, 2/25/2004 ]

Santorum Associated Bestiality And “Man On Child, Man On Dog” Relationships With LGBT Society. According to a taped interview with the Associated Press, Santorum said, “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. It is one thing. And when you destroy that you have a dramatic impact on the quality […] And that's sort of where we are in today's world, unfortunately. The idea is that the state doesn't have rights to limit individuals' wants and passions. I disagree with that. I think we absolutely have rights because there are consequences to letting people live out whatever wants or passions they desire. And we're seeing it in our society.” [Associated Press, 4/7/2003 ]

 

Santorum on the Issues

Marriage Equality: Opposed

Protecting LGBT Americans from Discrimination: Opposed

President Obama’s Executive Orders: Unclear

Ban Harmful “Conversion Therapy” Opposed

LGBT Adoption: Opposed

Anti-Bullying: Opposed

Significant Findings on Marriage Equality

Said countries that have adopted same-sex marriage have seen fewer marriages

Campaigned for a federal constitutional amendment defining marriage as between one man and one woman

Said same-sex marriage threatened heterosexual marriages and the nation

Supported “turning back the clock” on same-sex marriage

Supported invalidating already existing same-sex marriages

Said the purpose of marriage was to create children

Said “restoring” traditional marriage was the most important thing he could do in the 2016 campaign

 

 

Santorum Said Countries That Have Adopted Same-Sex Marriage Have Seen Decreases In Marriages. According to Federal News Service, during a press conference Santorum said, “And what we've seen in countries that have adopted gay marriage -- and there are several countries who have done so in Europe -- is not that many gays have decided to get married. In fact, quite the contrary; very few have. What has happened is that heterosexuals stopped getting married. And, in fact, in Denmark, where they've had gay marriage now for 10-plus years, 60 percent of the children in Denmark are born out of wedlock. Sixty percent of children first born are born out of wedlock. People just aren't getting married any more, and, as a result, families aren't being formed and children are being left to be raised by, in many cases, the state.” [Federal News Service, 2/24/2004]

Santorum Supported A Constitutional Amendment Defining Marriage As Between One Man And One Woman. According to the Federal News Service, during a press conference Santorum said, “As the leader announced, we are going to be moving to a constitutional amendment, the Federal Marriage Amendment, which will define marriage as it has been defined in every culture for the last 6,000 years, as a union between a man and a woman. We believe it's important because of what we see going on across the country in state courts and potentially federal courts to redefine marriage through judicial fiat, using the Constitution as the instrument by which to redefine it. We believe, those of us who are proponents of this amendment, that the Constitution should be amended the way the Constitution provides for amendment, and that is with the Congress passing a constitutional amendment and by the legislatures then ratifying that, not by judges redefining and creating constitutional amendments out of whole cloth, which is what's going on; which went on in the state of Massachusetts and is going on in state courts around the country. The only way to stop that redefinition and amendment of the Constitution and creating new rights under the Constitution is by, in fact, implementing a constitutional amendment.” [Federal News Service, 6/22/2004]

Santorum Said Marriage Was In Jeopardy Because Of Same-Sex Marriages. According to the Ventura County Star, when discussing marriage equality, Santorum said, “I cannot think of anything more important than the basic social building block of our country, and that is what marriage is, that is what the family is, and it is in jeopardy […] It is in serious, real jeopardy as a result of what the courts are doing.” [Ventura County Star, 7/14/2004]

Santorum Said Unless Society Is Protected With “The Institution Of Marriage, Our Country Will Fall.” According to Think Progress: “Rick Santorum reiterated his support for a federal marriage amendment denying marriage to gays and lesbians during Iowa’s Thanksgiving Family Forum. The former Pennsylvania senator promised to campaign against marriage equality in all 50 states and warned that ‘the family is the bedrock of our society, unless we protect it with the institution of marriage, our country will fall.’” [Think Progress, 11/19/2011 ; VIDEO]

Santorum Said He Thought He Could “Turn Back The Clock” On Marriage Equality Progress. According to the Huffington Post: “It is not the first time Santorum has brought his brand of family values to Iowa, which became the third state to legalize gay marriage in 2009. While campaigning in Iowa last week, a Gary Johnson supporter asked him whether he felt he could really ‘turn back the clock’ on gay marriage progress. ‘Yeah, I do,’ he said.” [Huffington Post, 11/21/2011 ]

Santorum Said Obama Needed To Be “Honest” Because “Now He’s Promoting Gay Lifestyles And Gay Rights, And He’s Fighting Against Traditional Marriage In The Courts.” According to CNN: “Santorum, who has long been an outspoken opponent of gay marriage, said Obama needed to clarify his stance on marriage rights. Obama has said he is ‘evolving’ on the issue, but does not currently support the rights of gays to marry. ‘He said he's for traditional marriage, and now he's promoting gay lifestyles and gay rights, and he's fighting against traditional marriage within the courts, and I think he needs to be honest,’ Santorum said.” [CNN, Political Ticker, 12/6/2011 ]

Santorum Campaigned To Defeat Iowa Supreme Court Justice David Wiggins Because Of His Support For Same-Sex Marriage Decision. According to Slate: “The Iowa ouster [of judges who supported same-sex marriage decision in Iowa] and the growth in campaign money has made more judges fear that an unpopular decision could trigger retaliation in the next election. That is precisely what the architects of the Iowa campaign were seeking. Campaign chief Bob Vander Plaats called the Iowa 2010 vote ‘a strong message for freedom to the Iowa Supreme Court and to the entire nation that activist judges who seek to write their own law won't be tolerated any longer.’ This fall, new campaigns were mounted to oust justices in Florida, Iowa, and Arizona. Presidential candidate Rick Santorum and Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal stumped in Iowa to defeat Justice David Wiggins, one of the other four members of the court who had signed on to the same-sex marriage decision….Iowans voted to retain Justice Wiggins by 8 points, and voters in other states rejected partisan challenges to their high court justices.” [Slate, 12/12/2012]

Santorum Said “32 Times Marriage Has Been Voted On, In 32 States…And 32 Times Marriage Has Won.” According to the Huffington Post, in an interview on NBC Nightly News: “Santorum said he has hesitations about the Supreme Court taking the decision about marriage away from the people. ‘32 times marriage has been voted on, in 32 different states from Maine to California, and 32 times marriage has won,’ he said. But later in the interview Santorum acknowledged that ‘just because public opinion says something, doesn't mean something's right if it's not right.’” [Huffington Post, 1/1/2012 ; NBC Nightly News, VIDEO ]

Santorum Said Constitutional Amendment That He Supports Would “Invalidate” Existing Same-Sex Marriages. According to the Huffington Post: “In an interview with NBC's Chuck Todd at his campaign headquarters in Iowa, Santorum said there needs to be one marriage law for all 50 states. When asked if he would make same-sex couples get divorced, he responded, ‘Well their marriage would be invalid. If the constitution says 'marriage is this,' then people whose marriages are not consistent with the constitution ... (shrug.) I'd love to think that there was another way of doing it.’” [Huffington Post, 1/1/2012 ; NBC Nightly News, VIDEO ]

Santorum Said That If The Republican Party Started To Support Same-Sex Marriage, “It Would Be Suicidal.” According to Politico: “In an interview with The Des Moines Register on Monday, Santorum said that Sens. Rob Portman (R-Ohio) and Mark Kirk (R-Ill.) backing same-sex marriage is similar to the Republicans in the 1960s and 1970s who broke with the GOP and supported abortion. ‘I’m sure you could go back and read stories, oh, you know, ‘The Republican Party’s going to change. This is the future.’ Obviously, that didn’t happen,’ Santorum told the Register. ‘I think you’re going to see the same stories written now, and it’s not going to happen. The Republican Party’s not going to change on this issue. In my opinion, it would be suicidal if it did.’” [Politico, 4/9/2013 ]

Santorum Believed Same-Sex Marriages Discouraged Other Marriages. According to Real Clear Politics, during an interview on The O’Reilly Factor, Santorum said, “When marriages go away, then you don't have stable families raising the next generation. And if you look at places that in fact have gone through and changes their definition of marriage, what you have seen is lower birth rates. What you have seen is lower marriage rates. What you have seen is problems that come from that. So, the biggest issue is that we need to encourage men and women to come together and form stable families and have children so society can continue because if that doesn't happen, it won't.” [Real Clear Politics, 4/10/2013 ; VIDEO]

Santorum: “For The Republican Party To Even Contemplate Going Along With [Same-Sex Marriage] Is The Destruction Of Our Republic.” According to the Huffington Post: “Santorum's overarching conclusion to this tirade against same-sex unions? ‘For the Republican party to even contemplate going along with this is the destruction of our republic,’ he offers.” [Huffington Post, 10/18/2013 ]

Santorum Said Marriage Was A “Union Of A Man And A Woman For The Purpose Of Taking Two People In As One, A Unity, And Secondly To Have And Raise Children.” According to CNS News, Santorum said, “First and foremost in this movement we have to reclaim marriage for what it is: marriage is the union of a man and a woman for the purpose of taking two people in as one, a unity, and secondly to have and raise children […] No other union can accomplish those two purposes.” [CNS News, 6/19/2014 ]

Santorum Said That When We Redefine Marriage, “You Get Less Marriage.” According to Mediaite, during an interview with Townhall.com, Santorum said, “When we continue to see a decline in marriage and a redefinition of marriage, you get less marriage […] get families that aren’t as strong, and as a result, society generally, the economy suffers.” [Mediaite, 6/20/2014 ; VIDEO]

Santorum Said Most Important Thing For Republicans Was “To Restore The Importance Of Marriage” From Both An Economic And Societal Point Of View. According to Bloomberg: “Early on, Santorum got a question about gay marriage, and whether a Supreme Court ruling would elevate the issue in Iowa. ‘I don't know how big an issue it's going to be,’ he said. ‘You just asked me to play political commentator. What I think is important is marriage and the family. And I think the most important thing we can do as a party is to restore the importance of marriage, encouraging marriage from an economic point of view as well as a societal point of view.’ The reporter followed up: How would the court actually change the debate? ‘It depends on what they decide,’ said Santorum.” [Bloomberg, 1/24/2015 ]

Santorum Said Of 2016 Race: “The Most Important Thing We Can Do As A Party Is Highlight The Importance Of Restoring Marriage.” According to Politico: ““I’m going to be focused and centered on seeing what we can do to help restore the American family,” Santorum said when asked how big an issue gay marriage will be in the race. “The most important thing we can do as a party is to highlight the importance of restoring marriage.’” [Politico, 1/27/2015 ]

 

Significant Findings on Discrimination Protections for LGBT Americans

Voted against ENDA, which would have prohibited employment discrimination against LGBT workers

Said that ENDA would have created “special privileges”

Said LGBT people have a right to employment

Defended Gov. Mike Pence’s right to discriminate legislation

 

1996: Santorum Voted Against Employment Non-Discrimination Act. According to State News Service: “Santorum voted with the majority on homosexual job protection Wednesday, helping kill a bill by the slimmest of margins, 49-50. Known as the Employment Non-Discrimination Act, the bill would have prevented employers from firing, hiring, demoting or promoting workers based on sexual orientation.” [State News Service, 9/11/1996]

1996: Santorum Said The Employment Non-Discrimination Act Would Extend Special Privileges Based “Lifestyle Choice.” According to Think Progress, in 1996 when discussing the Employment Non-Discrimination Act, Santorum said, “This bill would give entitlement status based on sexual orientation to a degree that would offend most Americans […] The bill would extend special privileges, not based on a person’s status in our society, but rather based on their lifestyle choice.” [Think Progress, 4/25/2011 ]

2011: Santorum Said LGBT Should Have The Right Of Employment, But Not “Privileges Of Marriage, Privileges Of Government Benefits.” According to Think Progress, during an interview on Fox News, when asked if he would give LGBT people any rights as a matter of public policy, Santorum replied: “It depends what you mean by ‘rights.’ Are you talking benefits as far as rights? They have the right to be able to — employment. I don’t know what you mean by rights. What I’m talking about are privileges. Privileges of marriage, privileges of government benefits is a different thing than basic right to live their lives as they well should and can as free Americans.” [Think Progress, 4/25/2011 ]

Santorum Said “Indiana Flinched” On Religious Freedom RFRA, Giving Credibility To “The Argument [LGBT Advocates] Are Making, Which Is Not Credible.” Breitbart reported that “Potential presidential candidate Rick Santorum says Indiana’s governor should have stood up for his state’s recently-enacted religious freedom law. Instead, Mike Pence wants the law to be amended. ‘Mike is a good friend of mine….but…Indiana flinched, and I think that’s unfortunate because it gives credibility to the argument they are making, which are not credible,’ Santorum said during an interview with Ralph Bristol of Nashville’s Morning News.” [Breitbart.org, 4/1/2015 ]

Santorum Said “How Can, All OF A Sudden, We Get To A Point Where If You Have A Religious Point Of View On A Particular Moral Issue, You Need To Be Sensitized Or Re-Educated?” According to GW Today, “Civil liberties and gay rights groups argue the [Indiana RFRA] law could be used by a business as a ‘license to discriminate’ against people based on sexual orientation on the grounds of the religious belief of the proprietor. A front-page editorial published Tuesday in The Indianapolis Star called on Gov. Pence to enact a state law to prohibit discrimination on the basis of a person’s sexual orientation or gender identity. Sen. Santorum doesn’t think so. ‘Not in any of those other states, or the federal government, has there been one case of discrimination—I don’t even know if there’s been one suit tried,’ he said. ‘We all have the right to practice the faith we believe in. How can, all of a sudden, we get to a point where if you have a religious point of view on a particular moral issue, you need to be sensitized or re-educated? The only sensitivity training we need is to respect every person.’” [GWToday, 4/1/2015 ]

Santorum Wondered Why Indiana RFRA Bill Created Such An Uproar And Said “The Most Important Right Recognized By The Bill Of Rights Is Freedom Of Conscience.” According to GW Today,“Speaking Monday night at the Elliott School of International Affairs, former U.S. Senator Rick Santorum (R-Pa.) attempted to channel his inner constitutional scholar. ‘The most important right recognized by the Bill of Rights is the freedom of conscience,’ he said. ‘Why? If I’m free to come here and speak, but I can’t say what I believe, what good is the freedom of speech? None of those other freedoms mean anything unless you have the freedom to say, print and gather in the name of what you believe.’….Regarding the [Indiana] RFRA—signed into law by Republican Gov. Mike Pence last week—Sen. Santorum returned to his Voltairian ideology, and more than once wondered out loud why the Indiana law was causing such uproar.” [GWToday, 4/1/2015 ]

 

Significant Findings on Dangerous “Conversion Therapy”

Has repeatedly said sexual orientation is a choice, the same argument used by conversion therapy arguments to promote the dangerous practice

Spoke at convention hosted by leading supporters of conversion therapy

 

Santorum Said He Had Problems With LGBT Peoples’ Actions, Not Their Orientations. According to a taped interview with the Associated Press, Santorum said, “I have no problem with homosexuality. I have a problem with homosexual acts. As I would with acts of other, what I would consider to be, acts outside of traditional heterosexual relationships. And that includes a variety of different acts, not just homosexual. I have nothing, absolutely nothing against anyone who’s homosexual. If that’s their orientation, then I accept that. And I have no problem with someone who has other orientations. The question is, do you act upon those orientations? So it’s not the person, it’s the person’s actions. And you have to separate the person from their actions.” [Associated Press, 4/7/2003 ]

Santorum Said That Being LGBT Was Different Than Being Black Because There Are People Who Have Left The “Gay Lifestyle” And That’s Not True With “Anyone Who’s Black.” According to Think Progress, while on Fox News Sunday, Santorum said, “The idea that being black and being gay is the same is simply not true. There are all sorts of studies out there that suggest just the contrary, and there are people who were gay and lived the gay lifestyle and aren’t anymore. I don’t think that’s the case with anyone who’s black” [Think Progress, 9/10/2011 ; VIDEO ]

When Asked If Being LGBT Is A Choice Santorum Said, “I Think There’s All Sorts Of Studies That Are Contradicting On That Subject.” The Washington Blade reported: “Also during the interview with the Blade, Santorum wouldn’t venture to say whether he thinks being gay is a choice when asked if he shares the views of fellow GOP presidential candidate Herman Cain, who earlier this week stated that view. ‘I think there’s all sorts of studies that are contradicting on that subject,’ Santorum said. Major psychological institutions — including the American Psychological Association, the American Medical Association and the American Psychiatric Association — have stated that sexual orientation can’t be changed and that so-called reparative therapy practices are dangerous.” [Washington Blade, 10/7/2011 ]

Santorum Defended Rick Perry’s LGBT As Alcoholism Comparison, Saying, “The Point Gov. Perry Was Making, Which Is That Any Type Of Behavior Action Is A Choice, Is An Accurate Depiction.” In an interview with USA Today’s Capital Download, Santorum was asked: “Q: Texas Gov. Rick Perry, who like you ran in 2012, on Wednesday likened homosexuality to alcoholism, and he said people have “the ability to decide not to do that.” Do you agree?’ A: ‘I think anybody’s behavior is a choice. Behavior is a choice.’ Q: ‘Is it appropriate or accurate to liken homosexuality to alcoholism?’ A: ‘I think doing analogies and comparisons can be very dicey and tricky affairs, because people get very upset when you do them. But the point that Gov. Perry was making, which is that any type of behavior action is a choice, is an accurate depiction.’” [USA Today, Capital Download, 6/13/2014 ; VIDEO]

Sen. Rick Santorum Was Scheduled To Speak At The Family Research Council’s 2014 Values Voter Summit. According to their website, Sen. Rick Santorum was a confirmed speaker for the 2014 Values Voter Summit. [ValuesVotersSummit.org, Accessed 9/3/14 ]

FRC Urged Opposition To Reparative Therapy Bans, Arguing Sexual Orientation Can Change “And Such Changes Are Especially Common Among Young People.” On its website, while arguing against bans on reparative therapy, FRC said “Q: Are people born gay? A: No research has ever proven that a homosexual orientation is determined at birth…. Q: Can someone's sexual orientation change over time? A: Yes -- and such changes are especially common among young people….Q: Can ‘sexual reorientation therapy’ or other ‘sexual orientation change efforts’ (SOCE) be effective in helping people to change their sexual orientation? A: Research, clinical experience, and personal testimonies all give evidence that SOCE can help people to change.” In conclusion, FRC stated, “Laws banning sexual orientation change efforts for minors take freedom away from therapists, from parents, and from young people desiring help. The evidence does not support such bans, and they therefore represent an assault upon both truth and freedom.” [FRC Website, Accessed 9/4/14 ]

FRC Testified In Opposition To D.C. Proposed Reparative Therapy Ban To D.C. Council Claiming “Abundant Anecdotal Evidence” That “Ex-Gay” Therapies Work. In testimony to the Council of the District of Columbia Committee on Health in opposition to Bill 20-501 (the “Conversion Therapy for Minors Prohibition Amendment of 2013”), FRC Senior Fellow for Policy Studies Peter Sprigg said, “At the heart of the attacks on sexual reorientation therapy are two claims—that such therapies are ineffective, and that they are harmful. However, there is abundant anecdotal evidence that such therapies work—that is, people who say that they were helped by such therapies to change from predominantly homosexual to predominantly heterosexual. There is also scientific evidence. The National Association for Research and Therapy of Homosexuality has cited ‘600 reports of clinicians, researchers, and former clients—primarily from professional and peer-reviewed scientific journals” which show that ‘reorientation treatment has been helpful to many.’” [FRC, Testimony In Opposition to Bill 20-501, Council of the District of Columbia Committee on Health, 6/27/14 ]


 

Significant Findings on Rhetoric and Intolerance

Defended laws that criminalized LGBT people having sex

Blamed LGBT “lifestyle” for Catholic church’s sex scandal

Compared same-sex marriage to “man on dog” relationships, then blamed reporter for the quote

Compared same-sex marriage to bigamy, adultery

Compared the fight against same-sex marriage to 9/11, and vital to homeland security

Campaigned against Iowa judges who rules in favor of same-sex marriage

Suggested not all states are home to gay couples

Said LGBT people abroad should not have their lives threatened because of their sexual orientation

Suggested LGBT participation would destroy the Boy Scouts

Blamed “Will and Grace” for increasing acceptance of same-sex marriage

Said that LGBT community had “silenced the church” and sent business owners to a “re-education camp.”

Defended Rick Perry’s analogy comparing same-sex couples to alcoholics

 

Santorum Said He Stood Up “When The Supreme Court Was Going Create A Constitutional Right To Sodomy And Said This Is Wrong We Can’t Do This.” According to LGBTQNation.com, during an interview on Bradlee Dean’s “Sons of Liberty,” Santorum “turned to the landmark 2003 U.S. Supreme Court decision in Lawrence v. Texas, which struck down Texas’ sodomy laws, and invalidated similar laws across the country that were used to criminalize homosexuality. ‘And I stood up from the very beginning back in 2003 when the Supreme Court was going create a constitutional right to sodomy and said this is wrong we can’t do this,’ Santorum said. ‘And so I stood up when no one else did and got hammered for it. I stood up and I continue to stand up.’” [LGBTQNation.com, 10/25/2011 ; AUDIO ]

Santorum Suggested That The LGBT Lifestyle Was Partly To Blame For The Catholic Church Child Abuse Scandal. According to a taped interview with the Associated Press, when asked about an article he wrote that partly blamed the Catholic Church child abuse scandal on “liberalism,” Santorum said, “You have the problem within the church. Again, it goes back to this moral relativism, which is very accepting of a variety of different lifestyles. And if you make the case that if you can do whatever you want to do, as long as it's in the privacy of your own home, this ‘right to privacy,’ then why be surprised that people are doing things that are deviant within their own home? If you say, there is no deviant as long as it's private, as long as it's consensual, then don't be surprised what you get. You're going to get a lot of things that you're sending signals that as long as you do it privately and consensually, we don't really care what you do. And that leads to a culture that is not one that is nurturing and necessarily healthy. I would make the argument in areas where you have that as an accepted lifestyle, don't be surprised that you get more of it. […] In this case, what we're talking about, basically, is priests who were having sexual relations with post-pubescent men. We're not talking about priests with 3-year-olds, or 5-year-olds. We're talking about a basic homosexual relationship. Which, again, according to the worldview sense is a perfectly fine relationship as long as it's consensual between people. If you view the world that way, and you say that's fine, you would assume that you would see more of it.” [Associated Press, 4/7/2003 ]

Santorum Associated Bestiality And “Man On Child, Man On Dog” Relationships With LGBT Society. According to a taped interview with the Associated Press, Santorum said, “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. It is one thing. And when you destroy that you have a dramatic impact on the quality […] And that's sort of where we are in today's world, unfortunately. The idea is that the state doesn't have rights to limit individuals' wants and passions. I disagree with that. I think we absolutely have rights because there are consequences to letting people live out whatever wants or passions they desire. And we're seeing it in our society.” [Associated Press, 4/7/2003 ]

Santorum Claimed Reporter Inserted Words In His Quote That Were Not His. During an interview on National Public Radio, when asked about his comment on bestiality, Santorum said, “…it's wholly inaccurate. What I said--and I was commenting on a United States Supreme Court case when I talked about how the court--this was before the Lawrence vs. Texas decision--could, and they eventually did, change the standard for right to privacy to a standard that said consenting adults basically can do whatever they want, period. That's pretty much what the court said. And I said, `If that is the new standard, then it would be hard for the court to limit'--and I listed a whole bunch of other sexual activities, by the way. That logic was a logic that was used by Justice White in deciding the previous case having to do with sexual conduct back in 1986 where that was in the majority. The majority said that we weren't going to give this right to consensual activity because it would lead to polygamy and a whole host of other things. Justice Scalia in his defense used the same logic that I used. And, in fact, polygamists have sued under the Lawrence vs. Texas decision as seeking equality under the law. A reporter inserted some words in a quote that I gave that were not in the quote that could lead people to believe that I thought otherwise, but even with the insertion, I would make the argument that I still don't compare one with the other.” [National Public Radio, 8/10/2005]

Santorum Suggestively Compared Same-Sex To Bigamy And Adultery . According to a taped interview with the Associated Press, Santorum said, “We have laws in states, like the one at the Supreme Court right now, that has sodomy laws and they were there for a purpose. Because, again, I would argue, they undermine the basic tenets of our society and the family. And if the Supreme Court says that you have the right to consensual 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. Does that undermine the fabric of our society? I would argue yes, it does. It all comes from, I would argue, this right to privacy that doesn't exist in my opinion in the United States Constitution, this right that was created, it was created in Griswold — Griswold was the contraceptive case — and abortion. And now we're just extending it out. And the further you extend it out, the more you — this freedom actually intervenes and affects the family. You say, well, it's my individual freedom. Yes, but it destroys the basic unit of our society because it condones behavior that's antithetical to strong healthy families. Whether it's polygamy, whether it's adultery, where it's sodomy, all of those things, are antithetical to a healthy, stable, traditional family.” [Associated Press, 4/7/2003 ]

Santorum Compared Massachusetts Supreme Court Decision That Approved Same-Sex Marriage To The 9/11 Terrorist Attack. According to Morning Call, on Massachusetts Supreme Court’s decision to approve same-sex marriage, Santorum said “This is an issue just like 9-11 […] We didn't decide we wanted to fight the war on terrorism because we wanted to. It was brought to us. And if not now, when? When the supreme courts in all the other states have succumbed to the Massachusetts version of the law?” [Morning Call, 2/25/2004 ]

Santorum Suggested Banning Same-Sex Marriage Was “The Ultimate Homeland Security.” According to Pittsburg Gazette, after failing to pass an amendment to the U.S. Constitution to ban same-sex marriage, Santorum said, “This is a great and extraordinary occasion […] I would argue that the future of America hangs in the balance, because the future of the family hangs in the balance. Isn't that the ultimate homeland security, standing up and defending marriage?” [Pittsburg Gazette, 7/15/2004 ]

Santorum Said It Was “Legitimate Debate” To Link A “Sexually Permissive Society” With Child Molestation. When discussing the Catholic Church sex scandal on the “The O'Reilly Factor,” Bill O’Reilly asked, “I just don't know whether the linkage between a sexually permissive society, which we absolutely have here in America, and a crime of child molestation -- I don't know if you can make that linkage.” Santorum responded: “I think it's a legitimate debate. You may disagree with me, and I respect you disagreeing with me. But I think when you say to someone that morality and sexual activity is a private affair and you can do whatever you want in the privacy in your own home, people, you know, tend to think differently...” [Fox News, The O’Reilly Factor, 7/19/2005; VIDEO]

Santorum Mockingly Compared Same-Sex Marriage To Incest, Saying, “I Love My Friends, My Brother. Heck, I Even Love My Mother-In-Law. Should We Call These Relationships Marriage, Too?. According to Think Progress, Santorum wrote in the Philadelphia Inquirer: “Is anyone saying same-sex couples can’t love each other? I love my children. I love my friends, my brother. Heck, I even love my mother-in-law. Should we call these relationships marriage, too? Marriage is and always has been more than the acknowledgment of the love between two people.” [Think Progress, 5/22/2008 ]

Santorum Suggested Same-Sex Couples Were Trying To Defy “Nature.” While discussing same-sex adoptions and marriage, during an interview on CNS News, Santorum said, “In that, I can tell you that fathers bring something different to their daughters than mothers do. We are not just genetically different, we are different beings. Men are different than women. Men think different than women, they act different than women, as a general rule. And, so, and they bring different things. I mean, this is common sense. This is nature. And what we're trying to do is defy nature because a certain group of people want to be affirmed by society, and I just don't think that's to the benefit of society or to the child.” [CNS News, 1/24/2011 ; VIDEO]

Santorum Said The Iranian Regime Trampled The Rights OF LGBT People And Has To Go. At a Republican Presidential Debate in Ames, Iowa, Santorum said, “Anyone that suggests that Iran is not a threat to this country or is not a threat to stability in the Middle East is obviously not seeing the world very clearly. He sees it exactly the way that Barack Obama sees it, that he has to go -- we have to go around and apologize for the fact that we've gone out and exerted our influence to create freedom around the world. I don't apologize for that. I don't apologize for the Iranian people being free for a long time and now they're under a -- under a mullahcracy that -- that tramples the rights of women, tramples the rights of gays, tramples the rights of people all -- all throughout their society and it's the greatest supporter of terrorism in the Middle East and around the world and is setting up training camps and is working with Venezuela and other countries in our -- south of our border to threaten us.” [Fox Republican Debate, Ames, IA, 8/11/2011 ; VIDEO]

Santorum Said The Killing Of LGBT People In Iran Was A ‘Grave, Moral Wrong’ That He Would Speak Up Against As President. In an interview with the Washington Blade, the Blade asked, “Blade: ‘One thing you said in August that really jumped out during the presidential debate was you criticized Iran for trampling the rights of women and gays. I’m just wondering what rights-trampling you’re objecting to.’ Santorum: Ah, they’re killing them. They’re killing people because they’re gay, which is a grave moral wrong. Blade: ‘And how would you address that as president?’ Santorum: ‘I would talk about it. This president doesn’t talk about those things. He doesn’t talk about the torture, he doesn’t talk about the killing of women and gays and imprisonment. These are fundamental violations of human rights that I would speak about.’” [Washington Blade, 10/7/2011 ]

Santorum Disagreed With Obama Administration Consideration Of Human Rights For LGBT People In Foreign Aid, Saying It Should Be Based On Need, Not On “Whether People Are Promoting Their Particular Agenda.” After the Obama administration stated it would factor in protections for LGBT persons into foreign aid, Santorum disagreed with the decision. According to CNN: “Santorum echoed Perry's comments Tuesday in Iowa, telling reporters that humanitarian aid should be reserved for countries with pressing needs. ‘I would suggest that we give out humanitarian aid based on humanitarian need, not based on whether people are promoting their particular agenda,’ Santorum said. ‘Obviously the administration is promoting their particular agenda in this country, and now they feel it’s their obligation to promote those values not just in the military, not just in our society, but now around the world with taxpayer dollars.’” [CNN, Political Ticker, 12/6/2011 ]

Santorum: “If Someone’s Life Is Threatened Because Of Race, Sexual Orientation, Or Other [Reasons], I Think We Have An Obligation To Stand Up And Defend That Human Right.” According to the Washington Examiner: “First, Santorum, who is well known for his socially conservative positions with regard to gay rights, was asked whether it is appropriate for the U.S. Department of State to defend the rights of homosexuals in foreign countries where their lives might be threatened by anti-gay governments. ‘We have to defend human rights everywhere,’ Santorum replied. ‘If someone's life is threatened because of race, sexual orientation, or other [reasons], I think we have an obligation to stand up and defend that human right. I don't have a problem at all, if people's lives are in jeopardy, then we have an obligation to protect all people and their freedoms.’” [Washington Examiner, 3/8/2015 ]

Santorum Said The LGBT Community Had “Gone Out On A, I Would Argue, Jihad.” According to the Hill, during a campaign stop in Spartanburg, S.C., Santorum said, “So the gay community said, ‘He’s comparing gay sex to incest and polygamy, how dare he do this,’ and they have gone out on a, I would argue, jihad against Rick Santorum since then,” [The Hill, 8/29/2011 ]

Santorum Campaigned To Defeat Iowa Supreme Court Justice David Wiggins Due To His Support Of Same-Sex Marriage Decision. According to Slate: “The Iowa ouster [of judges who supported same-sex marriage decision in Iowa] and the growth in campaign money has made more judges fear that an unpopular decision could trigger retaliation in the next election. That is precisely what the architects of the Iowa campaign were seeking. Campaign chief Bob Vander Plaats called the Iowa 2010 vote, ‘a strong message for freedom to the Iowa Supreme Court and to the entire nation that activist judges who seek to write their own law won't be tolerated any longer.’ This fall, new campaigns were mounted to oust justices in Florida, Iowa, and Arizona. Presidential candidate Rick Santorum and Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal stumped in Iowa to defeat Justice David Wiggins, one of the other four members of the court who had signed on to the same-sex marriage decision….Iowans voted to retain Justice Wiggins by 8 points, and voters in other states rejected partisan challenges to their high court justices.” [Slate, 12/12/2012]

Santorum: “There Are Only Gay Couples In Certain States.” During a ABC/Yahoo/WMUR New Hampshire GOP Primary Debate, Santorum said, “I’m certainly not going to have a federal law that bans adoption for gay couples when there are only gay couples in certain states. So this is a state issue, not a federal issue.” [ABC/Yahoo/WMUR New Hampshire GOP Primary Debate, 1/7/2012 ; VIDEO ]

Santorum Wrote If The Scouts Allowed LGBT People That “Scouting May Not Survive.” Santorum wrote a column for World Net Daily in which he said that if LGBT people were allowed in the Boy Scouts, “Scouting may not survive this transformation of American society, but for the sake of the average boy in America, I hope the board of the Scouts doesn’t have its fingerprints on the murder weapon.” [World Net Daily, Santorum Column, 2/3/2013 ]

Santorum Said There Was “Zero” Change In Definition Of Marriage Until ‘Will And Grace’ Aired On Television. According to the Huffington Post: “Speaking at the Midwest Republican Leadership Conference last month, Rick Santorum made some dramatic claims about the future of our country if same-sex marriage comes to be legalized. But first, the former Republican presidential candidate gave us all a history lesson in the trajectory of normalization regarding same-sex attraction: ‘When it came to the issues of changing the definition of marriage, there was no change -- none! Zero! For 30 years,’ Santorum said. ‘And then a television show came on the air called 'Will and Grace' -- and look at it from that point on!’” [Huffington Post, 10/18/2013 ]

Santorum Claimed Anti-LGBT Business Owners Were Being Sent To A “Re-Education Camp.” According to the Huffington Post, during an appearance on the American Family Association’s “Focal Point” radio program, Santorum said, “You now see situations with bakers and florists and photographers who are being forced to provide services for same-sex weddings or get fined, lose their business […] In the case of Colorado, there was a Colorado case recently where someone had to go to a re-education camp if you will. And the amazing thing is that in Colorado, gay marriage isn’t even legal!” [Huffington Post, 6/25/2014 ; AUDIO ]

Santorum Said The LGBT Community Had “Silenced The Church.” According to The Advocate, during an interview on Washington Watch With Tony Perkins, Santorum said, “I really believe in this subject matter at hand with the gay community that a Judeo-Christian worldview cannot survive with a worldview that is as rabidly secular as this movement is. One is going to battle the other and I can tell you that the statists, these secular statists, do not want the competition that comes from the church and so they are going to do everything they can to marginalize them, to force them out of the public square to be quiet. […] We’re losing in this particular area among young people. … it’s because they have effectively silenced the church on a lot of these issues and young people don’t even know what the opposing view is on these issues.” [The Advocate, 10/23/2014 ; AUDIO]

Santorum Defended Rick Perry’s LGBT As Alcoholism Comparison, Saying, “The Point Gov. Perry Was Making, Which Is That Any Type Of Behavior Action Is A Choice, Is An Accurate Depiction.” In an interview with USA Today’s Capital Download, Santorum was asked: “Q: Texas Gov. Rick Perry, who like you ran in 2012, on Wednesday likened homosexuality to alcoholism, and he said people have "the ability to decide not to do that." Do you agree?’ A: ‘I think anybody's behavior is a choice. Behavior is a choice.’ Q: ‘Is it appropriate or accurate to liken homosexuality to alcoholism?’ A: ‘I think doing analogies and comparisons can be very dicey and tricky affairs, because people get very upset when you do them. But the point that Gov. Perry was making, which is that any type of behavior action is a choice, is an accurate depiction.’” [USA Today, Capital Download, 6/13/2014 ; VIDEO]

 

Significant Findings on LGBT Adoption

Said LGBT couples should be prohibited from adopting

Later said that states should be able to determine whether LGBT couples can adopt because gay couples don’t live in every state

 

Santorum Agreed That Same-Sex Adoption Should Be “Prohibited.” During an interview on CNS News, when asked about a state “handing over babies to same sex couples, should that be prohibited?” Santorum answered, “Yes. I mean, I don't believe in same-sex adoption, nor do I believe in same sex marriage.” [CNS News, 1/24/2011 ; VIDEO]

Santorum Suggested That Adoption Was A “Privilege” LGBT Couples Weren’t Entitled To. According to Think Progress, during an appearance before the Family Leader, Santorum said, “A lesbian woman came up to me and said, ‘Why are you denying me my right?’ I said, ‘Well, because it’s not a right.’ It’s a privilege that society recognizes because society sees intrinsic value to that relationship over any other relationship.” [Think Progress, 5/3/2011 ; VIDEO]

Santorum Suggested States Could Determine Same-Sex Adoptions. During the ABC/Yahoo/WMUR New Hampshire GOP Primary Debate, when asked about same-sex adoption in New Hampshire, Santorum said, “Well, this isn’t a federal issue. It’s a state issue, number one. The states can make that determination, in New Hampshire. My -- my feeling is that this is an issue that should be -- I believe the issue of marriage itself is a federal issue, that we can’t have different laws with respect to marriage. We have to have one law. Marriage is, as Newt said, a foundational institution of our country, and we have to have a singular law with respect to that. We can’t have somebody married in one state and not married in another. Once we -- if we were successful in establishing that, then this issue becomes moot. If we don’t have a -- a federal law, I’m certainly not going to have a federal law that bans adoption for gay couples when there are only gay couples in certain states. So this is a state issue, not a federal issue.” [ABC/Yahoo/WMUR New Hampshire GOP Primary Debate, 1/7/2012 ; VIDEO ]

 

Significant Findings on Anti-Bullying and Hate Crimes

Said he does not believe in hate crimes

Suggested hate crimes laws would be used to prosecute Christians

 

Santorum Said “I Don’t Believe In Hate Crimes.” According to LGBTQNation.com, during an interview on Bradlee Dean’s “Sons of Liberty” radio program, Santorum said, “I do not believe that sexual orientation should be added to hate crimes, but let me be honest, I don’t believe in hate crimes, period.” [LGBTQNation.com, 10/25/2011 ; AUDIO ]

Santorum Implied Christians Would Be Prosecuted For Hate Crimes. According to the Huffington Post: “Santorum goes on to claim that Christians are now afraid to speak out against gay marriage because they'll be branded as bigots and haters. ‘We have hate crimes in this country,’ Santorum states in the above clip. ‘For hate speech. It's coming.’ Santorum's overarching conclusion to this tirade against same-sex unions? ‘For the Republican party to even contemplate going along with this is the destruction of our republic,’ he offers.” [Huffington Post, 10/18/2013 ]