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It came as no surprise to gay men and lesbians that if ultra-conservatives kept digging around in this year’s barrel of Republican candidates, past Trump, Bachmann, Cain, Perry and even Gingrich, they would eventually reach Rick Santorum. Santorum, or Newt, Jr. as he is affectionately being called, replaces Iowa-trounced Rick Perry and the regressive Michele Bachmann in lashing gay men and lesbians to whipping posts.

rick santorum

And, to borrow Newt Sr.’s phraseology, Santorum is swinging the whip of right-wing social engineering. He is advocating forced divorce!

The Census Bureau estimates that there are 131,729 same-sex married couples in the United States. This figure would actually be much higher if all willing gay men and lesbians (and if the stigma of homosexuality were removed) could actually marry in all of America’s jurisdiction. (Are you listening President Obama?) Still, more than a quarter of a million gay people are married to one another. In California, which allowed same-sex marriage for a only a few months, 36,000 gay men and lesbians passionately swooned to the alter!

Appearing recently with MSNBC’s Chuck Todd, Santorum was trying to whip up support for a constitutional amendment codifying marriage at the federal level as a relationship between a man and a woman. Said the fast talking Rick, “I think marriage has to be one thing for everybody. We can't have 50 different marriage laws in this country, you have to have one marriage law...” Of course he means everybody but gay men and lesbians.

That is not a new idea. However, a reasonable candidate would know that that’s a politically dead issue. In our nation, support for same-sex marriage has grown to 49% and another 25% of Americans support civil unions.

Todd quickly asked, “What would you do with same-sex couples who got married? Would you make them get divorced?” Santorum snapped back, “Well, their marriage would be invalid!” When it comes to whips, Rick likes to swing.

Imagine, if there were to be a Constitutional amendment forbidding same-sex marriage, Santorum would destroy the families of a quarter of a million openly gay men and lesbians who've already established stable families through same-sex marriage. Their marriages would become invalid. Licenses pulled! A government-forced divorce!

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The California Supreme Court has already ruled that the marriages of 36,000 gays and lesbians are legal and binding.

Obviously, Catholic Santorum sees no line between the political podium and the church pulpit.

And, Rick, after you make gay men and lesbians divorce and stop future same-sex marriages, why not go further?

Why not invalidate and ban Muslim marriages? And for smaller religious groups like Baha’i, which preaches the rather left-wing notion that, “all nations should become one in faith and all men as brothers,” why let them have marriages? And, don't stop there, since the Catholic Church only recognizes its own marriages, why shouldn’t the Constitution recognize only Catholic marriages? And with that, you could really differ from Mormon Romney.

You’ve got a lot of work ahead, Rick!

carl matthes

And, what are you waiting for President Obama? As with “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell,” your presidential leadership would make a difference.

Archaeologists run into older fossils the deeper they dig. And, so it is in the Republican candidate’s barrel. The deeper you dig, the more fossilized attitudes of prejudice and discrimination you find. Santorum is just one more failed fossilized politician.

Carl Matthes