Rick Santorum: Gays Already Have Enough Rights

Likely Republican presidential candidate and former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum told Fox News' Chris Wallace Sunday that LGBT people don't deserve equal rights. "You opposed gay marriage," Wallace noted. "I did," Santorum agreed. "You
3 years ago by David
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Likely Republican presidential candidate and former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum told Fox News' Chris Wallace Sunday that LGBT people don't deserve equal rights.

"You opposed gay marriage," Wallace noted.

"I did," Santorum agreed.

"You oppose civil unions, you want to reinstate 'don't ask, don't tell.' Do you think gays have any rights, should have any access to benefits as partners?" Wallace asked.

"Well, sure. I mean there are all sorts of contractual benefits that anybody can contract for. But the question is whether we should institutionalize that in public policy? My feeling is that people can live their lives however they want to live it," Santorum explained.

"The question is: what are you going to do to try to impact public policy to recognize particular relationships?" he continued. "My feeling is the relationship that should be recognized in public policy that provides exceptional benefit, unusual unique benefits to society is marriage. Marriage between a man and a woman who are there to join together for the purpose of continuing society, which is having children and raising the children in a home with a mom and a dad."

"But you wouldn't give them any rights as a matter of public policy?" Wallace wondered.

"It depends what you mean by 'rights.' Are you talking benefits as far as rights? They have the right to be able to -- employment. I don't know what you mean by rights. What I'm talking about are privileges. Privileges of marriage, privileges of government benefits is a different thing than basic right to live their lives as they well should and can as free Americans," Santorum replied.

The former Pennsylvania senator came under fire in 2003 when he suggested that gays did not have the right to privacy with respect to sexual acts.

"If the Supreme Court says that you have the right to consensual (gay) sex within your home, then you have the right to bigamy, you have the right to polygamy, you have the right to incest, you have the right to adultery. You have the right to anything," he told The Associated Press.

"In every society, the definition of marriage has not ever to my knowledge included homosexuality. That's not to pick on homosexuality. It's not, you know, man on child, man on dog, or whatever the case may be," he added.

Wallace gave Santorum a chance Sunday to plug his website and plead for contributions. The controversial Republican has launched an exploratory committee and said he will run for president in 2012 if he gets enough donations.

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