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Rick Santorum Clashes With Gay Rights Activists in Wash.

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By Stoyan Zaimov, Christian Post Reporter
February 14, 2012|11:48 am

On the same day that Gov. Chris Gregoire signed into law a bill legalizing same-sex marriage in Washington, Republican presidential candidate Rick Santorum faced a protest from gay rights activists at a daylong campaign in Tacoma, Wash.

Santorum has often been regarded as the most conservative of the GOP candidates still in the race, and the former Pennsylvania senator has said he will protect marriage by supporting the tradition unity of one man and one woman. During Monday's rally at the Washington State History Museum, Santorum spoke in front of hundreds of supporters but had to face several interruptions by "Occupy Wall Street" protesters, two of whom were dragged away for continuing to interrupt him, the Seattle Times reported.

Pro-gay protesters outside the Tacoma rally made their voices heard, however, with some holding signs that read: "Bigots don't belong in the White House," in reference to the former senator's opposition to same-sex marriage.

At a presidential debate in New Hampshire in January, Santorum said he would be a voice for making sure that every person "is treated with respect and dignity and has the equality of opportunity," but that he does not support same-sex marriage or same-sex couples adopting children.

"Just because you don't agree with someone's desire to change the law doesn't mean you don't like them, or you hate them, or you want to discriminate against them," the candidate explained, and added that he would love a son just as much even if he were to tell him he was gay.

However, gay marriage supporters still find Santorum's stance unacceptable. During the Tacoma rally, Kay Bratton, a protester holding a sign that read "It's the law, get over it," reminded the married father of seven and his supporters that they had lost the fight in Washington, which became Monday the seventh state to legalize sex-same marriage.

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Earlier in the day, the former senator told more than 100 pastors at a closed-door meeting at Calvary Chapel in Olympia that despite the recent legislation, he will continue battling gay-marriage efforts and would push for a constitutional amendment to protect traditional marriage.

"I told them to keep up the fight, that this is an important issue for our families; it is an important issue for religious liberty," Santorum revealed at a news conference Monday afternoon.

"We have a serious issue about trying to get moms and dads to marry and stay together. I don't see this as encouraging that," the candidate explained. "I think that at least from my perspective it tends to water down marriage instead of encouraging men and women to form healthy marriages, and that to me should be the objective of the government because that is in the best interests of our society."

The next GOP primaries will take place Feb. 28 in Michigan and Arizona, where Santorum and former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney are expected to be the top two candidates vying to win the most votes in each state.

 

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