News :: Politics

Video: Mother of Gay Son Asks Santorum About Same-Sex Marriage

by Michael K. Lavers
National News Editor
Tuesday Jan 17, 2012
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Former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum faced more questions about his opposition to marriage for same-sex couples during a campaign stop in Myrtle Beach, S.C., on Monday.

A Greenville, S.C., woman who identified herself as a Santorum supporter told the former U.S. senator and his wife Karen that her gay son continues to hear that "Rick Santorum hates gays." She said her son actually opposes marriage for same-sex couples, but she asked Santorum how she should explain her support of his campaign to those who oppose his views.

"We all love our kids unconditionally," said Karen Santorum before she blamed LGBT activists for distorting her husband’s statements on the issue. "As Rick’s wife, I have known him and loved him for 23 years and I think it’s very sad [what] gay activists have done out there-they vilify him and it’s so wrong. Rick doesn’t hate anyone. He loves them. What he has simply said is marriage shouldn’t happen, but as far as hating, it’s very unfortunate that that has happened."

The former U.S. senator was more nuanced in his response to the woman’s question.

"This is not an issue of not doing what I’m called to do, which is to love everyone and accept everybody, but this is a public policy difference," he said. "Some see that public policy difference as a personal assault."

Santorum has faced repeated questions about his opposition to marriage for same-sex couples while on the campaign trail.

A woman at a town hall meeting on the eve of the New Hampshire primary on Jan. 10 asked Santorum whether his anti-gay positions make him an electable candidate-he sparked controversy when he suggested that he and President Barack Obama have the same position on marriage. Santorum’s anti-marriage equality statements faced additional scrutiny in the days after he nearly defeated former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney in the Iowa Republican caucuses.

Santorum finished fifth in New Hampshire, but he continues to position himself as a viable conservative who can effectively challenge Obama in November.

Nearly three-quarters of the 150 evangelicals and other social conservatives who met in Texas over the weekend voted to back Santorum’s campaign. This endorsement certainly gives Santorum momentum going into the South Carolina primary on Jan. 21, but he has tried to soften his anti-gay and anti-marriage equality rhetoric on the campaign trail in recent weeks.

"We need to affirm that people can have other relationships that are important and they can say are fine, but they can’t be what is essential for the future of our country," he told the Greenville woman. "There’s all sorts of other relationships that people have and they are valuable relationships-whether they are amorous relationships or friendship relationships or familiar relationships. They are all important. They all have value. They all should be affirmed, but that does not mean we should change the laws."


Video courtesy of the Washington Examiner.

Based in Washington, D.C., Michael K. Lavers has appeared in the New York Times, BBC, WNYC, Huffington Post, Village Voice, Advocate and other mainstream and LGBT media outlets. He is an unapologetic political junkie who thoroughly enjoys living inside the Beltway.

This article is part of our "Election 2012" series. Want to read more? Here's the full list»

Comments

  • Anonymous, 2012-01-17 13:28:14

    Santorum’s mother Gould have had an abortion.


  • Anonymous, 2012-01-17 19:22:02

    He’s a walking example for why abortion should be legal.


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