Pittsburgh, PA
July 4, 2022
    News           Sports           Lifestyle           Classifieds           About Us
Nation & World
Consumer Rates
Flight 93
Headlines by E-mail
Home >  Nation & World >  U.S. News Printer-friendly versionE-mail this story
U.S. News
Santorum remarks outrage gay-rights groups

Tuesday, April 22, 2003

By Lara Jakes Jordan, The Associated Press

WASHINGTON -- Gay-rights groups, fuming over Sen. Rick Santorum's comparison of homosexuality to bigamy, polygamy, incest and adultery, yesterday urged Republican leaders to consider removing the Pennsylvania lawmaker from the GOP Senate leadership.

A coalition of groups in Washington and Pennsylvania compared Santorum's remarks with those uttered last December by former Senate Majority Leader Trent Lott about Strom Thurmond's 1948 segregationist campaign for the presidency. Shortly afterward, Lott was forced to resign as Republican Senate leader.

Santorum, R-Pa., is chairman of the Senate GOP conference, third in his party's leadership, behind Majority Leader Bill Frist of Tennessee and Assistant Majority Leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky.

"We're urging the Republican leadership to condemn the remarks. They were stunning in their insensitivity, and they're the same types of remarks that sparked outrage toward Senator Lott," said David Smith, a spokesman for the Human Rights Campaign, the nation's largest gay advocacy organization. "We would ask that the [Senate Republican] leadership reconsider his standing within the conference leadership."

In an interview with The Associated Press, Santorum criticized homosexuality while discussing a pending Supreme Court case over a Texas sodomy law.

"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," Santorum said in the interview, published yesterday.

Santorum spokeswoman Erica Clayton Wright said the lawmaker's comments "were specific to the Supreme Court case."

The White House did not immediately return a call seeking comment, and a spokesman for Senate Majority Leader Frist declined comment.

Lott resigned his post in December after making remarks at a 100th birthday celebration for Thurmond that were widely considered racially insensitive and condemned by the White House. Lott later apologized.

Among the groups condemning Santorum's remarks were the Center for Lesbian and Gay Civil Rights, the Pennsylvania Log Cabin Republicans, OutFront, and the Pennsylvania Gender Rights Coalition.

Back to top Back to top E-mail this story E-mail this story
Search | Contact Us |  Site Map | Terms of Use |  Privacy Policy |  Advertise | Help |  Corrections