Santorum: Gay Marriage Support is Suicide for GOP
In an interview with the Des Moines Register on Monday, former presidential candidate Rick Santorum said that it would be "suicidal" for the Republican Party to back marriage equality.
Santorum compared GOP senators Rob Portman (Ohio) and Mark Kirk Ill.), who have come out for marriage equality, to Republicans in the '60s and '70s who went over to the pro-choice side in the abortion debate.
In the face of much of the Right conceding the issue, Santorum also confidently predicted that the U.S. Supreme Court would issue decisions in two pending cases against marriage equality.
"I think you'll see," he said, "hopefully, a chastened Supreme Court is not going to make the same mistake in the cases as they did in Roe v. Wade," the decision that legalized abortion in the United States. "I'm hopeful the Supreme Court learned its lesson about trying to predict where the American public is going on issues and trying to find rights in the Constitution that sit with the fancy of the day," he added.
Even though polls show that a majority of the American public now supports marriage equality, Santorum told the Register that the issue "is not a well thought-out position by the American public."
Santorum was referring to arguments for and against the Defense of Marriage Act and Proposition 8 that the Supreme Court heard last month. The justices are expected to hand down their ruling on both cases sometime in June.
The Supreme Court wouldn't make the same mistake as it did in Roe, he said, which was to misread the American public. As for the Republican Party, he added, it's "not going to change on this issue. In my opinion it would be suicidal if it did."
Political observers have noted that Santorum seems to be making moves -- such as stops in Iowa, which has disproportionate influence because of its early caucuses -- toward another run for president in 2016.
"I haven't made any decisions," he told the Register. He said any decision would depend on his family and the political scene in 2016. Santorum made similar comments last week to right-wing website News Max.
Not only is Santorum highly unlikely to change his views on same-sex marriage anytime soon (if ever). In his column for the ultra-right wing conspiracy site World Net Daily, Santorum writes about a a new contest from a group he heads called Patriot Voices. The goal: "saving the American dream" before President Barack Obama destroys it. According to Santorum, it is companies like Starbucks, which actively support marriage equality, that are in league with the president in a mission to overthrow American values.
The politician said he was outraged that Starbucks has "taken a very aggressive stance against natural marriage and for changing the definition of marriage" and said that the coffee company's CEO Howard Shultz stated "if you are a shareholder of Starbucks and you support traditional marriage, then sell your shares, we don't want you as a shareholder" during a recent shareholders meeting.
A number of religious right activists and groups have boycotted Starbucks over its support for same-sex marriage and Santorum urged his supporters to join the boycott as well.
"So are you going to live out your life and say we're going to support institutions, we're going to support businesses, we're going to support colleges and universities, we're going to support media that are out there fighting against the values that we know are important to this country, or are we going to live our lives consistent with that," he said on Patriot Voices Radio. "So when I say, what are you doing to support the American dream?" Santorum asked, "Are you going to live it or are you just going to say well I support this and then go out and do things that actually support organizations and things that undermine the causes of our country?"