2012 Election | Gay Marriage | New Hampshire | News | Rick Santorum

Rick Santorum Argues with Students About Same-Sex Marriage and Polygamy: VIDEO


Today in Concord, New Hampshire, Rick Santorum was cornered at the podium by a student who demanded to know why he doesn't believe gay people deserve marriage rights.

Santorum lobbed what Think Progress LGBT characterizes as "offensive and circuitous responses" about polygamy:

“So if you’re not happy unless you’re married to five other people, is that OK?...Reason says that if you think it’s okay for two [individuals to marry], then you have to differentiate for me why it’s not okay for three."


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  1. It's pretty easy to answer this question, and I wish somebody would get around to it. State-sanctioned marriage should not be between more than two people because all the laws concerning marriage concern a 1 to 1 relationship. Inheritance rights? Assumed to be given to the surviving partner. Child custody? Managed between the two adults in the relationship. Next of kin? Automatically goes to the other in the relationship.

    This was dealt with most prominently in the Iowa marriage case. The justices asked the same questions Santorum is asking, and the lawyer involved did not get mad. He simply kept explaining the ideas behind same-sex marriage and eventually answered it appropriately:


    I wish ThinkProgress would do the same instead of calling his question "offensive."

    Posted by: JFE | Jan 5, 2012 7:45:47 PM

  2. incest is illegal. bestiality is illegal. pederasty is illegal. the act of polygamy is illegal.

    gay couples marrying is not creating any "new" laws or rights, merely extending already-existing ones to LGBT Couples.

    anyone who can't understand this should be sterilized.

    Posted by: Little Kiwi | Jan 5, 2012 7:46:38 PM

  3. Kiwi, I don't know what you're talking about. True the "marriage" part of gay marriage is not new, but the "gay people marrying each other" part IS new. Polygamy, on the other hand, has always been legal in parts of the world, and has a much longer historical pedigree than SSM, which if I'm correct, is about 10-15 years old. To say that gay marriage is not a new idea because marriage has always existed islike saying that extending the vote to 10 year old isn't a new idea because voting has always existed.

    If you want to choose to think that I view gay people or gay sex as the equivalent of bestiality, there's nothing I can do about that. But I've said several times that it is the ARGUMENTS used to justify one that will be used to justify the other. And, I repeat, Kiwi, the intensity of your anger doesn't constitute an agrument.

    Posted by: Mary | Jan 5, 2012 7:48:32 PM

  4. Santorum is proof there is no God.

    Posted by: Kevin thor | Jan 5, 2012 7:49:38 PM

  5. The strategy, and all the religious Republicans are using it, is to dismiss, demean, belittle and refuse to discuss the topic at all. If they don't address it they are convinced it won't matter to the voter. That's what's so cool about Bacchman, Santorum, Paul, etc - they are cutting their own throats. We have nothing to worry about with these people. They will be laughed out of the limelight.

    Posted by: OS2Guy | Jan 5, 2012 8:00:55 PM

  6. http://cnn.com/video/?/video/politics/2012/01/05/bts-santorum-event-boos.cnn

    He gets booed at the end! ha! serves him right!

    Posted by: RosemarysBaby | Jan 5, 2012 8:07:44 PM

  7. Pray the Santorum away.

    Posted by: kodiak | Jan 5, 2012 8:11:00 PM

  8. Wow Mary... Do you call what you wrote "reasoning?" I shall say it is A complete lack of reasoning; the same lack of reasoning used by Frothy Mix. Marriage equality and polygamy are very distinct from one another. Lets see if you get this:
    Marriage = a legal agreement between two consenting adults, recognized by all states and by the federal government, giving a set of hundreds of privileges and benefits to the COUPLE entering this contract.
    Polygamy = crime, and although it may be between consenting adults, it does not give any set of legal benefits and may get you in jail.
    So, "the ARGUMENTS used to validate the legalization of gay marriage are [NOT] similar to the arguments used to advocate polygamy" because we are not looking for "gay marriage" or polygamy, we want MARRIAGE EQUALITY. The same marriage heterosexual couples can legally enter and enjoy the many legal benefits that it affords.
    Your argument is old and tired, and more people are waking up everyday to the truth about opponents of Marriage Equality -- that they have no arguments; and that discrimination is the only reason for their fight. Religion beliefs are only an excuse for them to hide behind it. They are cruel selfish bigoted ignorant people whose eyes cannot see anything other than their pathetic miserable lives on Earth and their souls are rotten. To quote Mr. Grinch, the three words that best describe you are as follows:
    "Stink, stank, stunk!"

    Posted by: Sergio | Jan 5, 2012 8:33:39 PM

  9. Back for seconds, marytroll? It's like a game of whack-a-mole.

    Legally recognized civil marriage for same sex couples is going to be a nationwide reality within less than 5 years. No precedent? Does there need to be? Laws reflect lived social reality, but for starters there is precedent in the adelphopoiia liturgy of Medieval Europe.
    Perry vs. Schwarzenegger demonstrated that the state has no compelling reason to deny couples equal protection. Period. Kids or not, lovers on the side or not, marriage is a long term CONTRACT. History is all flux, but when your founding national document commands fairness, and human pair bonds happen among all different sex configurations, this is the logical outcome.

    Posted by: Josh | Jan 5, 2012 8:34:59 PM

  10. Oh, lord, he just made the dumbest argument possible. Good thing he's not before a Court, because he would have been laughed out of it. Even the audience had to titter his "rational" argument was so ludicrous. No wonder he perpetually looks like he's about to soil himself.

    The merits/problems of polygamy are entirely beside the point. I always tell people who bring up the polygamy red herring, that if they're in favor of polygamy, take it to the Court, take it to the legislature! Not my concern. Since polygamists are historically men with multiple wives (i.e. heterosexuals) it has far more in common with "heterosexual marriage" than with "gay marriage".

    If Frothy opposes marriage equality he needs to rationally explain why same-sex couples (we're only talking about couples not fivesomes, Ricky, you know, like napkins are not paper towels) should be excluded from civil marriage. Others have tried: religious teaching, procreation, elimination of the human race, and all the arguments fail, rationally.

    But his "argument" fails even to be an argument. It makes a mockery of the term before a group of young people about 1000X more rational than he is.

    Posted by: Ernie | Jan 5, 2012 8:50:05 PM

  11. Mr. Santorum believes that a man should be able to marry a woman. Ask him why he believes a man shouldn't be able to marry two women. Let HIM answer the question. His bible doesn't forbid it. It's common in there.

    Why are WE having to speak out against these things? They must have reasons for them, right?

    Let them tell us THEIR reasons against polygamy and incest, and then let them tell us their reasons against same-sex marriage.

    Posted by: MattS | Jan 5, 2012 9:14:38 PM

  12. It burns me up that he wants THEM to think about things, when he obviously has not ruminated on them at all.

    Posted by: MattS | Jan 5, 2012 9:16:15 PM

  13. @Mary:
    The groups arguing for the decriminalization of polygamy have NOT (and, logically, COULD NOT) use arguments in court that are anything even remotely similar to the arguments in favor of equal marriage rights for same-sex couples.

    What polygamists want is to not be criminalized.
    What same-gender married couples want is to be treated identically (no more and no less) under the law as any other couple that is married, without changing ANY calculation, right or responsibility that exists in regards to marriage laws.

    Polygamists (and their lawyers) understand that such a request for them is logically impossible, and they are not asking for it.
    I could give a thousand examples of hypothetical situations of why it works this way, but here's a random one:
    A man is in the hospital in a coma. The doctor needs his next-of-kin to make a decision regarding his potential end-of-life care. The doctor will ask his spouse (male/female, black/white tall/short/medium-sized is all of NO CONCERN whatsoever.)

    If this same man is registered to 15 spouses, what does the doctor do? Does he ask the first wife the man married, or the first wife who arrives to talk to him, or does he require a majority vote of wives or a unanimous decision, etc. etc. etc.

    Santorum's argument (and the one you seem to be buying into) would be like a Saudi man saying:
    "If we allow a female to sit in the driver's seat of a car, then what's to stop us from letting six people sit on each others' laps in the drivers' seat (and that would be dangerous!)"
    Or a sexist university dean in Afghanistan might say:
    "We only have room for 20 students in our pre-medicine program. If end sex discrimination and admit 20 PEOPLE instead of 20 MALES, then where's our standard?...What, then, is to stop us from letting 2000 people in that tiny lecture hall?"

    Individual aracteristics like race and sex and height and creed are analagous when addressing issues of discrimination. Changing the "number of people" in a situation does not make a parallel.

    Posted by: GregV | Jan 5, 2012 9:39:04 PM

  14. It might be unwise to attack this ignorant clown to much or he will use the sympathy moron vote to get elected President.

    Posted by: jaragon | Jan 5, 2012 9:49:15 PM

  15. Rick of course dodged the question.

    Too bad he fails to see that if two-person same-sex marriage leads to polygamy, so does two-person opposite-sex marriage.

    Posted by: Randy | Jan 5, 2012 9:55:28 PM

  16. Well, Mary, let's look at the options you mentioned regarding the "if it makes you happy" argument. Bestiality is cross-species, but also without the possibility of consent. An animal cannot give consent because it cannot enter into contracts, it can't consider consequences and make a reasoned decision. Therefore, SSM is not anything like beastiality.

    Incest - in addition to genetic problems associated with inbreeding, there are very specific roles and responsibilities associated with family involving power, trust, etc., especially when we are talking parent-child dynamics and particularly underaged children. This would include any pedophila, and also involve the inability to give consent, enter contracts, etc. which
    preclude bestiality. Incest/pedophilia have nothing in common with SSM.

    As for polygamy, well, you got me there. Just because it is illegal doesn't mean, necessarily, that polygamous relationships are not viable ones. My experience encountering people in group relationships has been that they don't work out. But weather they do or do not has no bearing on the viability of SS relationships, or SSM.

    SSM involves individuals capable of entering contracts, making reasoned choices for their lives, and desiring to create stability, increase intimacy, promote the welfare of their families, and strengthen society. There is no connection to beastiality, incest, or pedophilia.

    Posted by: TJ | Jan 5, 2012 10:11:08 PM

  17. He is so pathetic he cannot debate

    Posted by: Stephen | Jan 5, 2012 10:27:19 PM

  18. Santorum's punk face is just begging for my fist to rearrange it.

    Posted by: jamal49 | Jan 5, 2012 10:31:55 PM

  19. He 's an idiot.

    Posted by: misael | Jan 5, 2012 10:34:19 PM

  20. @Mary- You're attacking this all wrong.

    Committed same-sex relationships ARE LEGAL. They're just NOT RECOGNIZED by the federal and most state governments.

    This isn't about legalizing a criminal relationship (ie: pedophilia, bestiality, incest, polygamy/bigamy)... this is about allowing the state to RECORD and RESPECT the legal relationships between TWO consenting adults regardless of their particular genders.

    The law should be blind to the gender of its citizens.

    Posted by: Jexer | Jan 5, 2012 10:44:04 PM

  21. As the product of a Catholic education Santorum no longer has the capacity to use reason and logic. The religionist approach has always been to start with a conclusion and build a foundation of sand to support it.

    Arguing with someone like him is a waste of time. When confronted with a logical argument they always change the subject or get that look a dog has when he can't figure out which hand you hid his cookie in.

    Posted by: he's no spock | Jan 5, 2012 11:22:30 PM

  22. This guy is one of the biggest dorks to ever grace a podium...anywhere!

    Seriously, America, Santorum has yet to show even the slightest ability to give a "straight" answer to the question of gay marriage.

    I can only hope that one day he will be confronted with a gay son or daughter who asks for his "blessing" for their marriage. Something tells me he will run the other way, however.

    He is a hateful hypocrite...and nothing more.

    Posted by: bruce | Jan 6, 2012 12:25:10 AM

  23. @Mary
    If we let women vote then what is stopping dogs from voting.

    Posted by: AidenRaccoon | Jan 6, 2012 12:56:29 AM

  24. AIDENRACCOON: well-played, sir (or madam)!

    Posted by: TJ | Jan 6, 2012 1:40:29 AM

  25. Aidenracoon, very well said. Where is "mary" on this one? Perhaps licking her wounds. As for Rick, well, he is and always will be, his own worst enemy. Just put a hot mic in front of his mouth and listen with amazement as the stupidity flows like a waterfall. When I heard he "allegedly" did well in Iowa (vote tallies now being called into question) I knew that red-hot spotlight was about to shine on lil' Ricky. Oh, goodie!, I thought, and I was not disappointed. Hey, he got that google term for a reason! LOL Oh, and Ricky, you make a lousy Christian with all that hate clogging your heart and brain.

    Posted by: millerbeach | Jan 6, 2012 2:54:01 AM

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