Rick Santorum: “States Do Not Have The Right To Destroy The American Family”

Jim Burroway

July 30th, 2011

Katie bar the door.

No one can accuse former Pennsylvania Senator and GOP presidential hopeful Rick Santorum of “tenther” tenancies. On Friday, evening Santorum spoke at the Western Summit outside of Denver and delivered this attack on Texas Governor Rick Perry, who had earlier cited the Tenth Amendment and said that New York’s granting of marriage equality to same-sex couples was “their business, and that’s fine with me.”

Santorum lashed out at that remark, and in the process tried to deny that he had ever compared gay relationships to sex with dogs or your sister.

I think it was the year of my election, in the Atlantic Monthly there was a profile on Tim Gill and what he had accomplished here in Colorado, the Colorado Plan. And in the first paragraph of that article, he said, “Our plan is to make sure there is never another Rick Santorum elected to a national office.” My opponent spoke at the Human Rights Campaign. My opponent was a pro-life Democrat, son of Bob Casey, one of the great social conservative leaders, maybe last social conservative leader of the Democratic Party. And he had wrapped himself in his father, but he embraced the gay and lesbian community like no other candidate had. He went out and spoke and did fundraisers, estimates… millions, and certainly millions in direct contribution, and I believe over ten million in indirect contributions starting, in my race, eighteen months. Why?

Because I had the temerity to stand up in 2003 before any of this started to roll. Before Lawrence versus Texas was even decided, and I fired across the bow of the United States Supreme Court and said, “Supreme Court you can decide this case the right way and say the sodomy statute is voilate [sic] of equal protection and everything will be fine. But if you say there is a constitutional right to consensual sexual activity, Katie bar the door.”

And that’s what they did. And when I said that, I compared… I said… I didn’t compare anything… I said if the Supreme Court gives the right of individuals.. the constitutional right to consensual sexual activity, then you have the right to incest, you have the right to all sorts… polygamy, you name it. You have the right to anything if it’s consent.

When I said that, the gay community went ballistic and they came after me. Mainstream media called for me to resign because I was comparing homosexuality with incest and other things. No I wasn’t. I was saying if the standard was consent, then how do you rationally draw the line? You can’t. And they aren’t. And subsequent to that, the Massachusetts decisions and others came down, and I stood for marriage. I was the one, with Wayne Allard, Marilyn Muscgrave, two great warriors here in Colorado (applause) who stood… and we forced a vote on the Federal Marriage Amendment.

But ladies and gentlemen, we have this issue before us again today, and it’s within our party. And we need to talk about it. There’s some in our party who say, well if New York wants to pass same-sex marriage, that’s fine with me. Some who say, well I’m not going to get involved in what states do. It’s their business. Abraham Lincoln said it best: we do not have the right to do wrong. (applause) States do not have the right to destroy the American family. It is your business. It is not and should not… It is not fine with me that New York has destroyed marriage. It is not fine with me that New York is setting the template that will cause great division in this country. There is not fifty definitions of marriage.

And in the process, he denied that he ever compared gay relationships with incest and bestiality. In his clarification, he said that he didn’t make a comparison, but just said that they met the same standard. As if that were a big difference. Also, as if that were true. What he actually said in 2003 was this:

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 looks like a duck to me.

Gov. Perry, who had to backtrack somewhat from his earlier support of New York’s Tenth Amendment right to enact marriage equality, also gave a keynote address at the Western Conservative Summit. Speaking after Santurom’s address, Perry sought once again to burnish his social conservative credentials, saying, “The traditional definition of marriage suits Texas and this Governor just fine.” But, he added, “Washington needs a refresher course on the Tenth Amendment.”

Perry, who is expected to announce his own presidential bid soon, today reiterated his support for a constitutional amendment which would rescind the Tenth Amendment when it comes to marriage. “Yes, sir, I would. I am for the federal marriage amendment,” he told reporters. “And that’s about as sharp a point as I could put on it.”

Lindoro Almaviva

July 30th, 2011

these people are getting pathetic.


July 30th, 2011

“Gov. Perry, who had to backtrack somewhat from his earlier support of New York’s Tenth Amendment right to enact marriage equality . . . .”

Perry didn’t ‘backtrack somewhat” or “walk back” his earlier statement. He burned rubber peeling away from it – with the 10th Amendment draggin’ behind on a rope tied to his trailer hitch. Perry is every bit as bad as Santorum on all our issues from marriage equality to sodomy laws, but he’s less mouthy about it because he might actually end up as the GOP candidate for President. Santorum is not going to be on the ticket, top or bottom, and he knows it. He’s running to get his name in the papers and raise a bundle of money.


July 31st, 2011

Are we wasting time with discussing the foibles of some people who have no real chance in making the RNC nomination. I cannot see the RNC giving their nod to Palin, Bachman or Santorum. They’re too polarizing and most of the savvy Republicans know they would lose the 2012 election if any of these 3 were pitted against the incumbent President.

Should we concentrate who we think will be the possible candidates or are we just enjoying poking fun or being entertained by a circus of clowns.

It’s time to move on.


July 31st, 2011

Are there really people in New York who feel that their family has been destroyed by the legislation of marriage equality? What an extraordinary fellow is this Santorum, or perhaps a more suitable adjective would be egregious.

Kelly H

July 31st, 2011

“It’s not, you know, man on child …”
*Bzzzt* Wrong! Plenty of traditions have allowed the marriage of children, usually girl-children to men, though sometimes also girl-children to boy-children, even going by the culture’s own definition of adulthood.


July 31st, 2011

I agree with Cowboy. It’s vaguely entertaining but I have a better chance of getting the Republican nomination than Santorum does.

Priya Lynn

July 31st, 2011

I really appreciate the transcripts that you include of what was said in the video.


July 31st, 2011

Santorum conveniently forgets that homosexuals have families too. But no matter, the more he talks the less likely he’ll be nominated for anything.

There isn’t a single person running on the republican side that can be taken seriously. This is the best that they can do?


July 31st, 2011

“You don’t have a right to do wrong.”

Well, that might generally be true, but it’s the beauty of our system that we don’t define “wrong” by religious sect.

For instance, the Conservative Jewish group in America (not the Orthodox) have the stated public opinion that homosexuality is “wrong”-ish, but that homosexuals should not be denied the civil right to married.

And, in general, we don’t demand of every citizen (or deny at law) “the good”. Instead, we also make laws using reason and with an eye toward asking ourselves, “What if we are wrong about this?”

“There is no rational way to draw the line.”

Of course, that is just false.

You can choose to draw the line, informed by what we think is genetic (or immutable), subject to rational inspection.

In short, it’s not at all plain that society gives up its right either to ‘police the culture’ or, more aptly, to decide how it wants to organize on these matters, simply by allowing a small fraction of society, 2% perhaps, to marry because of an abiding attraction to the same sex and a desire to live their life that way.

What is fueling the perception of a right to “anything goes” is the persistent refusal of the Right to acknowledge that they made a mistake on “the gay” and to get out from under it, before their dire prognostications become a self-fulfilling prophecy…


July 31st, 2011

I have to agree w Cowboy. Santorum is a waste of skin.
But he is right about one thing, “states don’t have the right to destroy the American family”, But they do have a right to strengthen it.

Mark F.

July 31st, 2011

The FMA simply will not pass. It will not get a 2/3 vote in Congress and it certainly will not get 3/4ths of the state legislatures.

Timothy Kincaid

August 1st, 2011

“Abraham Lincoln said it best: we do not have the right to do wrong.”

Yes, but when Lincoln said his famous quote, “to others” was implied. Santorum’s version would suggest that one does not have the right to do, in one’s own space and impacting no one else, the right to do what Santorum deems wrong.

By saying that New York State does not have the right to its own marriage laws – even if we presume them to be wrong – Santorum calls for EXTREME centralized government and absolutist control. In other words, the exact opposite of “smaller government, local control”

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