Rick Santorum May Not ‘Hate’ Gays, But His Words Are Still Hurtful (VIDEO)

karen santorumCafeMom was honored to host a Coffee Break with Karen and Rick Santorum yesterday in South Carolina. It was a great opportunity for moms to ask the presidential candidate some candid questions in a relaxed setting. One mom confessed to Santorum that she felt guilty supporting him because her youngest son is gay. "I debated for the longest time how to handle my support of you, because what he's been hearing is, 'oh, Rick Santorum hates gays.'"

Rick Santorum's wife Karen said she was "very sad" about "what the gay activists have done out there. They've vilified him," she said. "Rick does not 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. And a lot of it is backyard bullying" on the part of gay rights activists. She went on to say that when individuals challenge Santorum in person on his supposedly hateful remarks, they can't come up with specific examples.

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Okay, Karen, let's look at a few examples of the hateful remarks gay activists appear to forget when you meet them in person. Maybe the problem is that Rick Santorum just doesn't realize how offensive and hurtful his past remarks about homosexuality have been. Here he trivializes homosexuality, comparing it with love for friends and family members -- which doesn't even make sense.

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? Think Progress

This is probably the worst and most famous quote: Here he compares gay sex with polygamy, incest, and bestiality. First of all, as we've seen from many of you commenters, polygamy does not appear to be the horrible threat he thinks it is. But to compare consensual gay sex with the sexual abuse of a child (not to mention family member) and with having sex with animals is going to sting for homosexuals. It implies what they're doing is actively destructive and immoral. You cannot be surprised if they find that notion offensive.

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. Does that undermine the fabric of our society? I would argue yes, it does. ... 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. USA Today

Santorum has denied that he was comparing gay sex with bestiality and incest -- and he's only partly right. He is contrasting them, saying homosexuality is less horrible than those other two, but he's still characterizing gay sex as a deviant sexual practice, and throwing it in there along with these grave offenses, even to say they're not as bad, is still insulting.

And here Santorum trivializes gay sex again, comparing it with a bear scratching himself on a tree because "it feels good." Gay people are animals because they're doing what feels good?!? That's insulting.

My colleague Senator John Ensign of Nevada told me a story that epitomizes the selfishness of our culture: When I was a teenager, I had a sticker in my car with a picture of a bear scratching himself on the tree, and under it was the saying, "If it feels good, do it!" That was the motto of the '60s and the '70s, and certainly it is the motto today. The image of the bear scratching himself highlights a view of human beings as animals, and that people should do what pleases them at the moment without a thought to the broader long-term consequences of their actions. News Review

More and more, even Americans who aren't necessarily in support of same-sex marriage are still turned off by this kind of hurtful rhetoric. Add these statements all up together and Rick Santorum's claim that a simple "public policy difference" shouldn't be interpreted as a "personal attack" seems insincere. Clearly his public policies come from a very personal place for him, and the way he's justified them to the public has definitely come across as a personal attack. Sorry Santorum, the personal still is political, especially in your case.

Do you think Rick Santorum's statements on homosexuality are hurtful and offensive?

 

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