Santorum’s “Love” For His Hypothetical Gay Son

Rick Santorum speaking in Florida in 2011. <a target="_blank" href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/gageskidmore/6184433982/sizes/m/in/photostream/">Flickr/Gage Skidmore</a>

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During Sunday’s GOP Primary debate, former Pennsylvania Senator Rick Santorum had a nice little moment when he said that if his son were gay, “I would love him as much as I did the second before he said it. And I would try to do everything I can to be as good of a father to him as possible.”

As I wrote Sunday, the nature of the question allowed Santorum to avoid the legal implications of his views on homosexuality while putting forth a load of schmaltz about “loving” gay people. Santorum might “love” his gay son, but he’d also want him banned from serving openly in the military, getting married, or adopting children. As Reason‘s Jacob Sullum notes today, in the infamous 2004 “man on dog” interview Santorum also indicated he’d favor criminalizing sexual activity he disapproves of:

If the Supreme Court says that you have the right to consensual 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. Does that undermine the fabric of our society? I would argue yes, it does…You say, well, it’s my individual freedom. Yes, but it destroys the basic unit of our society because it condones behavior that’s antithetical to strong healthy families. Whether it’s polygamy, whether it’s adultery, where it’s sodomy, all of those things, are antithetical to a healthy, stable, traditional familyThe idea is that the state doesn’t have rights to limit individuals’ wants and passions. I disagree with that. I think we absolutely have rights because there are consequences to letting people live out whatever wants or passions they desire.

So Santorum also thinks that his hypothetical gay son, whom he’d love so dearly, should also face legal consequences if he ever consummates a relationship with someone he’s actually attracted to. He’d want him to live a life of chaste loneliness, ostracized from whatever opportunities government might decide are inappropriate for gay men to pursue and incapable of building the kind of family he’d want to have. But Santorum would still, you know, “love” him.

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SIX TRUTHS

Reclaiming power from those who abuse it often starts with telling the truth. And in "This Is How Authoritarians Get Defeated," MoJo's Monika Bauerlein unpacks six truths to remember during the homestretch of an election where democracy, truth, and decency are on the line.

Truth #1: The chaos is the point.

Truth #2: Team Reality is bigger than it seems.

Truth #3: Facebook owns this.

Truth #4: When we go to work, we're in the fight.

Truth #5: It's about minority rule.

Truth #6: The only thing that can save us is…us.

Please take a moment to see how all these truths add up, because what happens in the weeks and months ahead will reverberate for at least a generation and we better be prepared.

And if you think journalism like Mother Jones'—that calls it like it is, that will never acquiesce to power, that looks where others don't—can help guide us through this historic, high-stakes moment, and you're able to right now, please help us reach our $350,000 goal by October 31 with a donation today. It's all hands on deck for democracy.

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