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Wednesday, April 23, 2003
I'm sorry, I didn't think I was going to talk about "man on dog" with a United States senator, it's sort of freaking me out.

Senator Rick Santorum (R-PA), aka "the guy who thinks women who get partial-birth abortions don't know what they're doing" and "the guy who blamed liberals for the priest abuse scandal," has hopefully stepped in a big pile of it. In an interview with the Associated Press, he 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."

Now, this sure sounds a lot like he's equating homosexuality with incest or polygamy, and it sure also sounds a lot like he thinks the government should stop faggot sex--or, even, mistress sex--because otherwise it's OK to rape your sister. Which is probably not true, it seems to me. Andrew "I'm only gay when it's convenient" Sullivan points out that the parenthetical "(gay)" is questionable (he also points out that Texas passed the anti-sodomy law under discussion the same year it repealed the beastiality laws), but a quick look at the transcript reveals that the foot is well implanted in the mouth as regards homosexuality. He proceeds from asserting that since the pedophilic priests having sex with young boys was "a basic homosexual relationship" because--get ready for it--they weren't three or five years old, it's our acceptance of homosexuality that leads to that rather than, say, the power structures of the church. (You know this practice has been going on for about 1000 years, right Rick?) He then goes on to assert that he doesn't believe in the right to privacy and that homosexuality is just like paedophilia. Wait, he already did that.

So he hasn't apologized, of course, and some people support that:

Santorum won some backing for his comments. Concerned Women for America, a conservative interest group in Washington, released a statement criticizing the "gay thought police" and saying Santorum was "exactly right."

Genevieve Wood, vice president for communications at the Family Research Council, another conservative group, agreed.

"I think the Republican party would do well to follow Senator Santorum if they want to see pro-family voters show up on Election Day," she said.

As Rachel put it, "Hahaha, gay thought police." Yeah, there's pretty much only a gay thought police in three places in the country. Everywhere else it's pretty much the straight thought police. And hahaha, pro-family voters. Do you really want "pro-family" to start explicitly meaning "homophobic"? Well, I guess if you want to appeal to homophobes (of which there is not a shortage in America), you do. Oh, although the Log Cabin Republicans did criticize him, thankfully:

"If you ask most Americans if they compare gay and lesbian Americans to polygamists and folks who are involved in incest and the other categories he used, I think there are very few folks in the mainstream who would articulate those views," said Patrick Guerriero, executive director of the group.

So the White House is saying nothing, and Rick is defiant. You'd think they'd have learned something from the whole Trent Lott thing, huh? Well, then again, I guess Trent didn't do too badly for himself in the end. Still: let's pick this one up, folks. The esteemed senator is free to believe this, of course, but I don't think we should have someone who "hates" the behavior of a decent proportion of our population as one of our leaders--Howard Kurtz notes that Santorum is "the third-ranking member of the Republican leadership." Barney "Fag" Frank thinks that "He knows exactly what he's doing. He's getting the right-wing vote." And the New York Times points out:

Earlier this month, as the chief Senate sponsor of President Bush's religion-based initiative, he aroused the ire of conservatives by stripping out a provision that would have helped religious groups get government grants. In fact, the Human Rights Campaign went so far as to praise Mr. Santorum in a news release.

In recent weeks the sensitivity of gays' relationship with Republicans came into the spotlight after Marc Racicot, chairman of the Republican National Committee, met with the Human Rights Campaign. The session enraged the conservative Family Research Council, whose president, Kenneth Connor, said Mr. Racicot was holding "secret meetings with the homosexual lobby."

Today, Mr. Connor came to Mr. Santorum's defense, saying, "I think the senator's remarks are right on the mark."

(the headline, by the way, is a quote from the AP interviewer in the transcript, and makes me very happy.)