2012 Election | Gay Marriage | News | Rick Santorum | Washington

Santorum Visits Washington as Marriage Equality Bill is Signed, Tells Anti-Gay Clergy Not to Give Up: VIDEO


Rick Santorum, now seen by some as the GOP frontrunner and the first presidential candidate to visit Washington state in the 2012 election cycle, met with anti-gay pastors in Olympia within hours of Governor Chris Gregoire signing the state's marriage equality bill.

OlysantorumHe told them not to give up, the Seattle Times reports:

"I encouraged them to continue the fight," Santorum said. "There are ebbs and flows in every battle, and this is not the final word."

The former Pennsylvania senator said the law waters down marriage at a time when divorce rates are already up. He argued that there are societal consequences without strong traditional marriages, including more people going to prison, more dropouts from school, higher poverty rates and higher government spending.

Still, Santorum said the debate needs to be respectful on both sides, indicating that supporters of same-sex marriage have fair points to make, too.

"There are legitimate reasons that people have to want to have to change the law, and there are legitimate reasons that people have to want to keep the law in place. If you keep it at that level, don't make it personal, make it about what is best for society, then I think we'll be fine."

ABC News' Jonathan Karl asks whether Santorum is now the frontrunner:

Two new national polls out today suggest Santorum is a candidate on fire, soaring to the top of the Republican race and now in a statistical tie with Mitt Romney for the lead. What is significant here is Santorum’s momentum.  He is surging nationally (up 14 points in seven days in one poll) just as the primary battle is about to become more of a national race with 18 states holding primaries or caucuses over the next month. I would argue that these two new polls tell us more about the direction of this race than Romney’s 194-vote victory over Ron Paul this weekend in the Maine caucuses.

A NYT poll shows similar results.

Watch a news report on Santorum's visit to Washington state and his meeting with the anti-gay pastors, AFTER THE JUMP...

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  1. Not personal? You mean like redefining your name on Google isn't "personal" Rick. When you want to impose your religion upon thousands of people, denying them rights that you enjoy based purely on an innate characteristic, that doesn't affect your life in the least, it is very, VERY personal Rick. This is what you don't understand. For you, it's just a law, a concept. For us it couldn't be more personal. This is why you'll lose in the end. Your passion CANNOT ever equal mine, ours, for this. You have nothing personal at stake and we have everything to lose.

    Posted by: Michaelandfred | Feb 14, 2012 9:50:55 AM

  2. Santorum has some big balls. To come into a state which has just legalized gay marriage and denounce its passage is vile. NO ONE can run for POTUS and alienate ANYONE because they don't approve of their lifestyle. I so wish someone would come forth with dirt on him.

    Posted by: Michael R | Feb 14, 2012 10:16:43 AM

  3. Citing rising divorce rates as a reason not to approve marriage equality makes no sense at all. The numbers of failed heterosexual marriages has been high for many years before anybody started to advocate for marriage equality. There are other forces at work eroding the traditional marriage structure, and some of them are truly regrettable.
    The only numerical increase in divorces I see as a likely outcome of SSM will come when those couples who enter marriages succumb to the same pressures and seek divorces. Queer couples should have an equal chance to enjoy vulgar and ostentatious weddings and then enrich divorce lawyers, just as heteros do.

    Posted by: gregory brown | Feb 14, 2012 10:38:34 AM

  4. I keep seeing headlines that promise "Rick Santorum Is On Fire!" It's always such a letdown to discover they're speaking metaphorically.

    Posted by: Caliban | Feb 14, 2012 10:43:55 AM

  5. He talks about what is best for society then, he needs to listen to social science, and findings of fact in the Prop 8 trial. I really agree with MICHAELANDFRED that this is totally personal for us. Our lives are not just some theoretical debate. We want and deserve the same rights as everybody else.
    As for the divorce rate... has nothing to do with us having the same chances to succeed or fail. Heterosexual divorce has gone down in European countries that have legalized marriage equality. I believe Finland for example.

    Posted by: Tom in long beach | Feb 14, 2012 12:12:58 PM

  6. I'm aghast that a US political party would pick someone even stupider than George Bush, without even the family connections.

    Does this mean a year of listening to phrases like "Santorum surges" during dinner? I may lose a lot of weight.

    Posted by: Randy | Feb 14, 2012 2:58:24 PM

  7. Quit smearing Santorum. It hurts his feelings.


    "Stupider than George Bush?" Yup...

    Posted by: Brett Cottrell | Feb 15, 2012 10:34:07 AM

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