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Rick Santorum Doesn't Want To Talk About Gay Marriage In PA

Even Rick Santorum has realized Republicans are not on the winning side of marriage equality.
9 years ago by David
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What a difference a few years make to hypocritical Republicans! In this 2011 video, Rick Santorum was very vehement indeed about gay marriage -- he said he would "die" to stop it. Now, he won't even go on the record with a comment about the marriage ruling in PA, his former home state. I wonder why:

On Tuesday afternoon, a conservative federal judge appointed by President George W. Bush struck down Pennsylvania’s same-sex marriage ban, ruling that prohibiting gay and lesbian couples from marrying violates the Constitution’s equal protection clause.

“We are a better people than what these laws represent, and it is time to discard them into the ash heap of history,” U.S. District Judge John E. Jones III, concluded. A day later, Gov. Tom Corbett (R) — who is facing a tough re-election bid — announced he would not appeal the ruling, allowing Pennsylvania to become the 19th state, along with the District of Columbia, where same-sex couples can marry.

What happened next may surprise you.

Rick Santorum, the former Pennsylvania senator, who rose to prominence for his stalwart opposition to gay and lesbian unions and attracted national attention in 2012 for running a presidential campaign comparing same-sex marriage to inanimate objects, remained silent.

The senator appeared on Fox News just minutes after the decision on Tuesday but didn’t address the matter. He tweeted voters to support his chosen primary candidate in Oregon, but couldn’t spare 140 characters to condemn the liberal social agenda coming to his home state. ThinkProgress made repeated requests for comment to Santorum’s organization — Patriot Voices — and his personal spokesperson over a period of two days, but did not receive a response.

Any comment would prove undoubtedly awkward, since Judge Jones was confirmed by the U.S. Senate in 2002, at the urging of Santorum, who described him as “highly qualified to assume the important role of Judge and the duty of protecting the Constitution and ensuring the effective operation of our judicial system.” Still, politicians rarely allow consistency to get in the way of political expediency and Santorum had plenty of opportunities to express disappointment with his nominee.

But some Republican strategists suggest that Santorum’s choice to remain silent is indicative of the GOP’s decision to de-emphasize its rhetorical opposition to gay rights in an effort to attract younger and more moderate voters.

“The push for same-sex marriage nationally is moving much faster than many in the Republican Party, including Rick Santorum, ever thought it would,” Republican strategist Ford O’Connell told ThinkProgress. “And now the GOP is trying to internally rectify the changing landscape because their position hurts them primarily with voters under 40; those same voters they need in the tent if they want to win the White House in 2016.”

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