Rick Santorum is scheduled to speak at fundraising events on October 9 and 10 in Spokane and Bellevue, respectively, in an effort to help Protect Marriage Washington’s efforts to reject Referendum 74, which would repeal the Washington State’s bipartisan marriage equality law.
The former senator has likened same-sex relationships to incest, bestiality, and polygamy; he has linked same-sex marriage to the tragedies of 9/11; and he has slandered same-sex parents by calling them worse than “imprisoned fathers who have abandoned their children.”
Meghan McCain, an MSNBC contributor, columnist for the Daily Beast, and daughter of Senator John McCain, said the choice of Santorum contradicts the Republican Party she and others believe is more broadly representative and welcoming.
“Every day more and more Republicans at the national and state level support the freedom to marry – from Vice President Dick Cheney to Barbara Bush to my own mother,” said McCain.”This is not a partisan issue. Fewer and fewer people in our party support the kind of intolerant rhetoric that Senator Rick Santorum has used through the years to talk about gay and lesbian Americans.”
Margaret Hoover, who served in the Bush White House and is currently a CNN political contributor and the author of American Individualism: How a New Generation of Conservatives Can Save the Republican Party, said the choice of Santorum reveals a lot about the opponents of Referendum 74.
“It certainly makes sense that opponents of the freedom to marry would choose to feature Senator Rick Santorum for their closing arguments to voters,” said Hoover. “The senator has failed to understand that freedom to marry is consistent with the conservative movement’s emphasis on tradition. Marriage allows gays and lesbians to be part of this most sacred social institution, to form life-long commitments that strengthen families and communities and anchor civil society in self-sufficiency. Extending freedom to marry to gays and lesbians makes our culture more stable, not less. Senator Santorum simply doesn’t represent the views of young conservatives nor, as the GOP primary process demonstrated, a winnable future for the Republican Party.
“These two national Republican leaders have it right — Referendum 74 is a non-partisan issue and Santorum represents possibly the very worst views of the past when it comes to including loving gay and lesbian couples in marriage,” said WUM campaign manager Zach Silk. “Both Hoover and McCain represent a growing number of Republicans who don’t understand why someone like Rick Santorum, with his extreme views, can still get center stage on this basic question of freedom and fairness.”
The Washington State PFLAG Council released a statement by Regional Director Kathy Reim, saying, “Respect, dignity, and equality are at the core of PFLAG’s mission. We ask that opponents of equality live up to their claim of respect for their lesbian and gay friends and neighbors by not highlighting a politician who has made a career out of disparaging our country’s gay and lesbian citizens.”
“We know the people of Washington State value and respect the diversity of their friends and neighbors. Mr. Santorum’s views fly in the face of these deeply held values,” said Colby Rezayat, President of the Washington State Council, representing 18 chapters and communities across the state.
Source: PFLAG and Washington United for Marriage