Moral Low Ground

US Government

Rick Santorum: Same-Sex Relationships “Don’t Benefit Society” Like Man-Woman Marriage

In some of his most bigoted commentary to date, GOP presidential hopeful Rick Santorum said that gay relationships “don’t benefit society” like heterosexual ones do.

Speaking Friday in Fulton, Missouri ahead of that state’s February 7th Republican primary, Santorum once again displayed the shocking homophobia he is infamous for when gave this response to a question from a gay audience member about why homosexuals should be deprived of marriage equality:

“[Marriage] is an intrinsic good … we extend certain privileges to people who do that because we want to encourage that behavior. Two people who may like each other or may love each other who are same-sex, is that a special relationship? Yes it is, but it is not the same relationship that benefits society like a marriage between a man and a woman.”

One gets the impression that Rick Santorum hasn’t met many same-sex families. There are countless same-sex couples, married and not, with children or without, whose unions benefit society just as much as straight couples do. It can even be said that some gay couples benefit society even more, for same-sex couples are at the forefront of the fight for marriage equality and other LGBT issues, which history books will show were the greatest civil rights struggles of our time. Here in San Francisco, I bear witness every day to how partners in same-sex couples contribute immeasurable benefit to society. From the doctors and first-responders who save our lives to the police officers and soldiers who protect us and our nation to the teachers and nannies who educate and raise our children, and so many more, LGBT Americans in loving, committed relationships do indeed benefit all of us.

Although particularly alarming, such comments from Santorum are nothing new. This is a man, after all, who has said he would “die” to prevent LGBT Americans from enjoying the same civil rights as the rest of us.

Sensitivity, compassion, empathy– some of the very traits that define us as human beings– seem to be glaringly absent from Rick Santorum’s emotional repertoire. And not just when it comes to LGBT issues. We’re dealing with a man who says he supports income inequality, who told the mother of a seriously ill boy that she should stop bitching about the unaffordable cost of medicine and who told rape victims that they should “make the best of a bad situation” and keep any children born from the crime.

The day when Rick Santorum is no longer a factor in the Republican presidential race is fast approaching. And if you ask me, it can’t arrive soon enough.

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