Gingrich, Santorum Build Florida Campaigns With Help From Antigay Crusaders

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"Legitimate talking point."
​The Republican presidential candidates can figure out a way to disagree on any topic -- we saw last night they could argue about everything from Terri Schiavo to beet sugar -- but there's one thing they all have in common: None of them has any plans to go anywhere near gay rights, and two -- Santorum and Gingrich -- have been collecting Florida allies who have a long history of public hatred toward the LGBT community.

Former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum is the easiest target of the bunch: Everything you need to know about his stance on homosexuality can be found in a 2003 interview with the Associated Press, in which he basically said it was totally fine to be gay, so long as you didn't do anything... gay:

I have no problem with homosexuality. I have a problem with homosexual acts. As I would with acts of other, what I would consider to be, acts outside of traditional heterosexual relationships... If that's their orientation, then I accept that. And I have no problem with someone who has other orientations. The question is, do you act upon those orientations?
He went on to say that sodomy was "antithetical to a healthy, stable, traditional family" and that "there are consequences to letting people live out whatever wants or passions they desire," whether it's "man on child, man on dog," or -- you guessed it -- man on man.

Santorum's wife stepped up to defend him at a campaign stop last week, saying Santorum was the victim of "backyard bullying" at the hands of gay activists.

"Rick does not hate anyone. He loves them. What he has simply said is marriage shouldn't happen," said Karen Santorum, who, it should be noted, was allowed to marry whomever she wanted and still picked Rick Santorum.

The Iron Sweatervest picked up an endorsement yesterday from former Fort Lauderdale Mayor Jim "Flush" Naugle, who said homosexuality was both a sin and a criminal act. But Santorum's grossest Florida ally was also the host of his first campaign stop in the Sunshine State: the Rev. O'Neal Dozier. We've been told not to trust a man with two first names -- we don't have a clue how to deal with a man who has two last ones.

Dozier runs Pompano Beach's Worldwide Christian Center, where "we teach and preach on the cultural issues" -- a euphemism, it seems, for telling parishioners whom they're supposed to hate. Dozier has said homosexuality is "something so nasty and disgusting that it makes God want to vomit" and that AIDS is punishment from God.

Obviously, Dozier was named Santorum's honorary Florida campaign chairman.
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Former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich isn't nearly as bad as Santorum when it comes to his public statements on gay rights, but he's still quite far from friendly. While he sort-of said that it's possible people are born with a propensity toward homosexuality, he's been very public about his desire to reinstate Don't Ask, Don't Tell and told a voter in December that if gay marriage were important to him, he'd be better off voting for Obama. Gingrich has said if the Defense of Marriage Act is ever repealed, he would support a constitutional amendment defining marriage as a union between a woman and a man. Evidence suggests he also supports unions between a woman and a man and a bunch of other women on the side.

While Gingrich is just spouting standard Republican talking points on gay marriage, his Florida campaign chairman is former state Attorney General Bill McCollum, who spent well over 100 grand of taxpayer money painting gay parents as awful humans who will ruin children forever. Gingrich might not be in favor of gay marriage, but McCollum actually got in a campaign fight with Rick Scott over which one of them was inadvertently nicer to gay people.

McCollum was vehemently against a 2010 effort to knock down a state ban on homosexual adoption -- he said gays shouldn't be "guiding our children" and paid antigay activist George Rekers $120,000 to testify that gay parents were less capable than straight parents to provide a "nurturing and secure emotional environment" for children. He suggested Native Americans shouldn't be allowed to adopt either.

Evidence shows colleagues tried to dissuade McCollum from calling Rekers to testify, but McCollum insisted -- and shelled out big bucks to get the most hateful guy he could find on the stand.

(Incidentally, McCollum's defense of the ban failed miserably, and Rekers went on to get busted taking a tropical vacation with a male escort.)
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When it comes to former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney, it's hard to tell how he really feels about gay rights. He's hitting all the anti-gay-marriage talking points now, but it's not clear if he really believes it or if he's simply traded in his backbone for a shot at the Oval Office. During his 1994 campaign for Senate, he sent a letter courting the support of the Massachusetts chapter of the Log Cabin Club, a Republican gay-rights organization, in which he said, "I am more convinced than ever before that as we seek to establish full equality for America's gay and lesbian citizens, I will provide more effective leadership than my opponent."

His opponent? Ted Kennedy.

Romney also wrote that he wanted gays to be allowed to "serve open and honestly in our nation's military," now a reality that he said would be maintained if he were elected.

Gay marriage, though, is another issue. Despite his loud demands for "full equality" for the LGBT community, Romney says he was always against gay marriage and would support a constitutional amendment to reinforce his belief if necessary. When CNN host Piers Morgan pressed him on this last summer, Romney said that "the gay community changed their perspective as to what they wanted." So, he's a proponent of gay rights when he desperately needs support from gays and they aren't really asking for too much.

Romney staffers appear to have kept their heads relatively low in this debate -- his Florida co-chairman, Congressman Tom Rooney, doesn't say stupid things too loudly. He has, however, voted the standard Republican line in the House, which includes a vote against the repeal of Don't Ask, Don't Tell and another against making antigay violence a hate crime. At least he didn't say anything about God vomiting on anybody.
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Ron Paul isn't going to do anything for gay marriage, but he's certainly against the federal government doing anything to stop it:

"The government should not amend the Constitution to define marriage," he said at a campaign event in December. "There's no need to do that, if you accept the idea that people have a right to do what they want as long as they don't hurt other people, and as long as they don't force their will on others in either direction."

So, in summary: None of the Republican candidates thinks homosexuality is a good thing, except possibly Romney, who seems to be too scared to offend the bigots whose primary votes he wants. All are against gay marriage, except for Paul, who says it's none of his business.


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5 comments
Wayne
Wayne

Yup.....lottsa redneck bigots in Florida! Santorum has a large and happy family (Translation; No contraception allowed by the US Constitution) and wants YOU to have a large family too.....even the child of the man who raped your wife (Translation;No abortion allowed by the US Constitution) except that children of same sex couples are not allowed to be happy (Translation; same sex marriage not allowed by the US Constitution). Welcome to Christian Sharia Law !

Pete Pepper
Pete Pepper

So these "freedom loving" Americans want to ban whole segments of the population, taking away their rights and regulating them to second class citizens.  Now where have I hear this before?  Oh yes, I remember, 1930s Germany!

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