Creep of the Week
Published Thursday, 05-Aug-2010 in issue 1180
A round of applause for Rick Santorum, everybody. What a brave, brave man. In his July 14 Philadelphia Inquirer column, Santorum congratulates himself for being such a courageous and relentless fighter against marriage equality. “Political consultants warn candidates to stay away from (cultural) issues because they are so personal and emotionally charged,” he writes.
A weaker man might’ve taken such advice. Not Santorum. Take abortion, for example. “I simply could not square voting to permit the killing of an innocent baby in the womb with the Constitution I swore to defend, the God I try to obey, or the people I pledged to serve,” he writes.
Nor could he stand by and watch marriage be destroyed by homos.
“Back in 2004, I was part of a small group of Republican senators that forced a floor vote on a motion to consider a constitutional amendment defining marriage as being between a man and a woman,” he reminisces. “We needed 60 votes to proceed; we fell just short of 50. Many senators who voted ‘yea’ privately castigated me for making them ‘walk the plank’ on such a tough issue.”
You know, I’m pretty sure somewhere on Craigslist you can hire a guy to “privately castigate” you and make you “walk the plank,” if you know what I mean. (Do you? I don’t. It just sounds dirty.)
Sexual predilections aside, the reason for Santorum’s sense of urgency was the 2004 Massachusetts Supreme Court ruling legalizing marriage for same-sex couples in the state. Marriage was clearly under attack, yet nobody seemed to care!
“The response from Congress was scant and predictable,” he writes. “Almost every member of Congress said he or she personally supported the definition of marriage that had existed since the country was founded. But they expressed about as much commitment to righting the judicial wrong as those who say they are ‘personally opposed’ to abortion.”
That’s right. Personal opposition is not enough. Dictating what you will and won’t do with only your own life is just lazy. Real commitment to an issue means doing your damnedest to dictate other peoples’ lives as well. The more personal and none-of-your-fucking-business the matter, the better.
So just why was Congress so apathetic about the Massachusetts ruling? Santorum argues that they were lulled into complacency by the Defense of Marriage Act. Santorum knew better.
And yet, the federal marriage amendment didn’t pass. And Santorum was voted out of office. And now a federal judge has ruled that DOMA is unconstitutional. DOMA was passed in a panic after Hawaii’s Supreme Court ruled in 1993 that gays should be allowed to get married there.
“The concern (in the ‘90s) was that other courts, using the U.S. Constitution’s Full Faith and Credit Clause, would force other states and the federal government to recognize these judicially imposed marriages,” Santorum writes.
OK, wait a minute. Santorum says he was worried that courts would use the Constitution to legalize marriage for gays and lesbians. This same Constitution he earlier said he used to justify his opposition to abortion. So it’s OK for Santorum to use the Constitution as a guide, but it isn’t OK for judges to use the Constitution as a guide - especially if they make legal rulings Santorum personally disagrees with. Got it.
Sadly, even with DOMA on defense, Santorum doesn’t think anyone is doing enough to “save marriage.”
“With the exception of a core group of conservatives, most politicians - including the president - continue to publicly back marriage while eagerly awaiting the day when judges will take this issue out of their hands. In this case, silence,” he writes, “is not golden; it’s yellow.” What a bunch of gay-marriage-loving pansies. Sickening. Incidentally, “golden showers” are also yellow, not golden.