Gay Activists Rebuked for 'Bullying' Santorum Over Opposition to Gay Marriage

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  • santorum
    (Photo: Reuters/Jessica Rinaldi)
    Republican presidential candidate former U.S. Senator Rick Santorum (R-PA) speaks during a Republican presidential candidates debate in Concord, New Hampshire, January 8, 2012.
  • Rick Santorum
    (Photo: REUTERS/Jason Reed)
    Republican presidential candidate and former Pennsylvania Senator Rick Santorum listens to a question from a member of the audience as he speaks to supporters at The Flight Deck restaurant in Lexington, South Carolina, January 17, 2012. The South Carolina Primary will be held on January 21.
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By Brittney R. Villalva, Christian Post Reporter
January 17, 2012|4:47 pm

Gay activists have been rebuked for “bullying” Republican presidential hopeful Rick Santorum and pushing an unsavory agenda against him, by accusing him of “hating gays.” The Santorum camp quickly turned the tables on rumors sparked by gay activists that he had a hateful agenda, by affirming that his stance against a redefinition of marriage to include gays was a matter of public policy, and not a personal attack against homosexuals.

“This is a public policy difference. I think the problem is that some see that policy difference as a personal assault,” Santorum asserted.

The issue arose as Santorum was conducting his campaign in South Carolina Monday. A mother in the audience used the question time to explain her dilemma: “I have been supporting the senator since he announced his exploratory committee,” she announced.

She then explained her son was gay, although he had no problem with Santorum’s stance on gay marriage: “I don’t have any problems with his stance on gay marriage because I don’t believe in gay marriage,” her son told her.

Although her son was accepting of Santorum’s stance, she said his friends were still very influenced by others. “I still have that sense of guilt, because his friends react to what they hear,” she said. “What he (my son) hears is ‘Oh, Rick Santorum hates gays.’”

She asked Santorum how best to deal with such harsh comments.

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Karen Santorum, the GOP candidate's wife, immediately stepped up to address the issue and reject the false claims. “I think it’s very sad what the gay activists have done out there,” she said. “Rick does not hate anyone, he loves them. What he has simply said is that marriage (between them) shouldn’t happen.”

She referred to the slanderous comments as “backyard bullying.”

Gay activists, such as Dan Savage, have been accused of such bullying. The activist, who also owns and licenses website, “It Gets Better” – ironically an anti-bullying site for young teens – has developed his own site to bash Santorum. The website contains several lewd remarks about the senator and his views.

Peter LaBarbera, president of Americans For Truth About Homosexuality, called Savage's site "heinous and malicious Web slander," and described it as "advanced cyber-bullying, pure and simple.”

Santorum himself went on to express disappointment over the comments the mother referred to in her question on Monday. He clarified his views on traditional marriage and his reasons for supporting it. “I believe the reason governments include marriage in their laws is because we need to consider what is best for mothers, fathers, and children.”

Santorum clearly stated that he held no hatred toward homosexuals and had no issues accepting others’ relationships, so long as it did not negatively impact the future of society.

He explained, “We need to affirm that people can have other relationships that are important, affirm that they are fine but they can’t be what is essential to the future of our country.”

“We shouldn’t be a society that denies our children and our future what’s best for them. It’s already rough enough out there,” he said. “We should not change the law to create an atmosphere where children and families are not being supported.”

Santorum’s success in the Iowa caucus (he came in second) has created increased awareness over the impact Christian evangelicals may have in the elections. Gary Marx, executive director of the Faith and Freedom Coalition, attributed some of Santorum’s success to the fact that he has reached out to younger evangelicals.

“He's been more on the side of talking about the poor and compassionate conservative concepts and that is something that does bridge out to younger evangelicals,” Marx said in a statement to The Christian Post.

Over the weekend, Santorum also received an endorsement from evangelical and conservative Christian leaders who met in Texas to try and unite around a candidate. A supermajority voted at the meeting to back Santorum while around a quarter chose to support Newt Gingrich.

Prominent evangelical Dr. Richard Land, president of the Southern Baptist Convention's Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission, indicated on Monday to Fox News that Santorum was chosen because he has stood on the issues of life and family “through thick and thin.”

 

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