Rick Santorum Opposes Gay Marriage, Gay Adoption, and Wants to Reinstate DADT. But Why?

Republican Rick Santorum is likely running for president in 2012 and here are his views on same-sex marriage and gay couples adopting children. Listen for the reasons that he offers (or at least alludes to) in support of his views:

I pick up from the above clip four supports that Rick Santorum gives for opposing gay marriage and gay couples adopting children:

  • Children should be in homes where there is a mother and a father.
  • Opposition to gay marriage and adoption are just common sense positions not to be elaborated on further.
  • Gay marriage and gay couples with children defy the natural order—the order of nature.
  • Gay couples don’t really want to marry and raise children; they just want acceptance for their bad behavior. Heterosexual society, therefore, should deny gay couples equality because their motive for seeking it is wrong.

Isn’t it pretty obvious that none of these reasons really hold up under scrutiny? But I wonder if any Republican Party candidate for president in 2012 will be able to say even one of the following things, and still remain viable:

  • I support gay marriage.
  • I support gay adoption.
  • I support civil unions.
  • I do not support the reinstatement of DADT (Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell).

But I can make a very firm prediction about the future: 50 years from now, no Republican Party candidate for president will ever make an issue of any of these things.

Why?

Because the gay civil rights movement will be complete and perceived by the overwhelming majority of Americans as a reasonable extension of freedom, justice, taxpayer and citizen equality, civil liberties, privacy, and the right to conscience.

And so the lameness of Rick Santorum’s supports for his positions is a nice reminder of what desperate straits the anti-gay rights movement is in, and this gives me hope. Here’s Santorum slamming DADT repeal (with yet another dubious reason):

Palin-Santorum 2012?

About Santi Tafarella

I teach writing and literature at Antelope Valley College in California.
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28 Responses to Rick Santorum Opposes Gay Marriage, Gay Adoption, and Wants to Reinstate DADT. But Why?

  1. Just to have perspective on how things have changeed over the long term (20+ years), I think it is worth noting that when DADT became policy that was a change from what had been I think: we’ll ask and make other efforts to find out if your gay and if you are you’re discharged, dishonorably I think.

    • santitafarella says:

      It’s curious to me just how many key agenda items for Republicans only work for them in the short term. Their opposition to gay rights and immigration reform are two examples. Their refusal to put forward any serious budget reductions to go with their tax cut clamoring is another. (The Tea Party is not really an anti-deficit movement; it’s an anti-tax movement.)

      Anyway, in the late 1980s and early 1990s California Republicans won a couple of election cycles on immigration paranoia but, over the long term, it has hurt them badly in this state.

      The national Republican Party is now playing similar tapes. Gay equality is obviously going the way of racial equality. Why be on the wrong side of history on this?

      —Santi

  2. Paradigm says:

    It’s a bit dubious to argue that history is going one way so it would be stupid and also possibly wrong to go the other way. You do this Messianic argument a lot. Do you mean we shouldn’t argue with success even if it contradicts our values and ideals?

    I browsed the web in vain for a detailed account of studies on gay adoption. Nowhere can I find any information of how the studies were carried out. For all I know this research could be mainly about upper middle class lesbians. I imagine if they had convincing evidence they would share this with the public. Instead we only get their conclusion that everything is just fine. In a world where kids bully each other for what brand of clothes they wear they are ok with someone having gay parents? I find it hard to believe.

    • santitafarella says:

      Paradigm,

      Actually, you’re being polite. It’s probably a lot dubious. Intellectually, I know that history is contingent, but I also like to play the hedgehog seeing and proclaiming the end of winter.

      You are correct to play the fox, pointing out cautionary details.

      But it seems to me that the big picture can also often be lost in the noise of details. Gay rights is one of those big picture things where it’s sometimes good to look up and see the writing on the wall. Ditto young earth creationism; the Thomist doctrine of the soul; the Bible’s inerrancy; old-school nationalism; and incandescent lightbulbs. You can make arguments and point out counterfactuals regarding all these things. But contemporary right-wingers often seem to me like Marxists trying to make arguments against capitalism. Capitalism has won. Rational people have moved on; they are not ever again going to look to Marx as a guide to macro-economic practice. There’s no going back.

      And, likewise, the dice are loaded (and continue to load) against certain old ideas—including the ideas that gays suffer from mental illness, are dangerous parents, and live contrary to nature. Religious fundamentalists will always believe such things, but the rest of us need not (and we are moving in the direction of not believing such things). History, I think, has a discernable direction—but you are right that the future hasn’t happened yet.

      —Santi

    • santitafarella says:

      Another thought here: is it that you don’t want gay males parenting a child, or is it that you don’t want lesbians parenting a child?

      Elton John and his partner just adopted a child. You think that’s bad for the child? If I were orphaned as an infant, I’d think that I’d just won the lottery to have two wealthy, urbane, and talented gay males take me under wing. Do you suppose Elton won’t encourage the kid to go to college? Or see that he or she gets breakfast and is read to at night? Or encouraging singing and piano?

      Do you suppose that Elton and his partner are incapable of human attachment to another being and of love?

      Why?

      —Santi

      • Paradigm says:

        I think upper middle class lesbians might be better parents than low income male gays. But more to the point I would like the researchers to share their research with the public rather than just sharing their conclusions. That makes me suspicious.

        Why bring up Elton John? I want research confirming that gay adoptions turn out as good as straight adoptions. Until I’ve seen some solid evidence of that I shall remain a skeptic, regardless of what this or that celebrity does.

      • @Paradigm

        I guess we should base all public policy and denying rights to others based entirely on your ignorant opinion. Your arrogance is astounding. Until you see evidence, you want to deny others rights. Perhaps you do not realize that we live in a free nation .. where all are equal. Your ignorant opinion is not enough to deny others rights.

    • So, you feel the need to deny gays the same rights that others enjoy because you have not seen studies that show their children will not be bullied? Do you also support profiling of heterosexual parents to see if it is likely they will raise a kid that might be bullied? After all, you need to see evidence that the children will not be bullied, right?

      • Paradigm says:

        Bullying is not the only potential problem. But generally speaking I’m all for screening all parents rather than taking the children from unsuitable parents after the damage has already been done – as we do today. This may however be hard to implement for practical reasons. But any group that may be problematic should be researched before they are allowed to adopt. That’s my opinion.

        And no, I don’t feel the need to deny gays rights, I feel the need to protect the children. That’s my priority.

        Also, don’t you ever wonder why researchers in this field are so unwilling to share information? Or is it best not to know?

      • Actually, there are several well published studies out of CA around children with 2 moms or 2 dads. here is one of the links that references back to the study.

        http://www.associatedcontent.com/article/5466290/do_two_moms_raise_chidren_better_than.html

        There are real studies by experts in the area. As opposed to those, like you, who just express their uneducated opinion on the topic.

        I find it interesting you adopt this screening the parents approach. What, besides being gay, would you consider screening criteria? It seems a rather convenient and arbitrary move on your part – as it allows you to target gays while getting off the hook for heterosexual couples. You cannot deny others rights because you are afraid of something and you cannot target specific social groups because you dislike them. I believe that what you have stated is a red herring, with the specific goal of allowing you to target social groups who do not fit what you like.

  3. granama25 says:

    Whether it’s best for child or not, the issue is they have millions of dollars and it is what they want, not what’s necessarily best for the child. That’s their lifestyle. The important thing is what they want and that they get it. It’s all about them. Don’t forget.

    • santitafarella says:

      Granama25:

      Do you read minds and hearts? Why do you assume that Elton John cannot make a good parent?

      And where do you get this abstract notion that one must sacrifice the real lives and circumstances of people to an abstract ideal—or not play at all? Sometimes the ideal is the enemy of the good and pragmatically doable. Kids come into the world under less-than-ideal circumstances all the time, and are abandoned or orphaned. Elton and his partner have intervened into the life of a child. And they did it freely, which means that they must have felt a deep impulse of the heart to do it. I bet that they will make fabulous parents.

      —Santi

    • @granama25
      Do you even see the irony in your post? You are the one making it all about you. You claim to be psychic and know the intents and emotions of others. You seek to then deny them rights because of what you think you magically know. It is your arrogance and your making it all about you .. maybe you should not be allowed to have kids or adopt. Clearly, you are too self centered.

  4. Who stops millionaires with a great heart to create good life conditions allowing children to remain with their parents?

  5. Paradigm says:

    Yes, he could help thousands of children with all that money. And he is 62 years old. Me, me, me…

  6. Paradigm says:

    Jared:

    The article you claim references back to the study does no such thing. It linkes back to another article about the study. Also, the author of the (first) article raises some concern regarding how accurate the conclusions are since lesbians do not have children by accidents and planned children generally have better outcomes than unplanned. The author also points out that this is a very costly procedure which makes it likely that the parents are wealthier than the average – also an indicator of outcome.

    That’s not the only issue though. The selection of parents for the study was done by ads, which makes biased. Or are we supposed to believe that people who might have problems would be just as interested in participating? And there is no information in these articles on how representative the sample is.

    Moreover, the evaluation of the outcome was done by interviewing the parents and children. That is not meassuring the actual outcome. And were the children submitting their feedback anonymously or not? Doesn’t say. Most children tend to be very defensive in these matters. Also, there is nothing on the data from straight parents that was used for comparison. Was it conducted within the study or was it from other studies, and if so how did they conclude that the information in question was suited for comparison? Doesn’t say.

    If this is a real study, as opposed to my uneducated opinion, why can’t I get all the facts from the experts? Remember that my opinion is uneducated by default since they won’t share information. But since you seem educated on this topic, maybe you can share it with me?

    “What, besides being gay, would you consider screening criteria?”

    Mental illness, anger issues, alcohol and drug habits. For instance. All of which concern straight parents as well, so I’m not letting them off the hook.

    “You cannot deny others rights because you are afraid of something and you cannot target specific social groups because you dislike them. I believe that what you have stated is a red herring, with the specific goal of allowing you to target social groups who do not fit what you like.”

    None of that can be logically deduced from what I said. One might say it is your uneducated opinion ; )

    • JCR says:

      There are several studies, just google and you will find them. The data is published and done by accredited researchers. Several of these studies have also been published and peer reviewed.

      Yes, same sex couples do have to seek out children, since they cannot come by them naturally. This does slant things to their favor, but it is also implicit for EVERY homosexual couple who seeks children. There are studies that show how the children do in school, how they are accepted by their peers, etc. etc. Parents, children and school officials are interviewed. I read one that was conducted over the last 25 years. Here are a few links. Do a google, there is lots of data and studies.

      http://www.livescience.com/culture/gender-parenting-100208.html
      http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/the-sexual-continuum/201006/25-year-long-study-finds-children-lesbian-parents-may-be-better-adj

      These are real studies, they were published and peer reviewed. You disliking them and feeling they are biased is irrelevant – unless you happen to be a professional in this area of expertise. Real experts have reviewed these studies.

      “None of that can be logically deduced from what I said. One might say it is your uneducated opinion ; )”

      Actually, you directly said is that you lump together gays with those who have “Mental illness, anger issues, alcohol and drug habits.” As if being gay is the equivalent of those things. And you then seek to have special screening for these people before adoption. So, yes, it can be logically deduced. Here is a link that may help you, since you clearly do not understand what constitutes logical reasoning.

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Deductive_reasoning

      You lump together gays with mental illnesses and addiction. By this, I can then logically deduce that you are a homophobe and a bigot.

      • Paradigm says:

        JCR:
        Thanks for your input. However, the links you provided do little to clarify the situation. The first is discussion of a review of studies. It does not adress the problem of biased selection more than that it mentions an adjustment for income. This adjustment doesn’t mean that we know anything about low income parents problems when adopting unless there are plenty gay parents in that category, and that we do not know because they won’t tell us. A familiar pattern.

        The summary also mentions grade retention as the only meassure of outcome (besides having the parents tell the researchers that everyting is fine). Although better than taking the parents word for it, like the previous study that was discussed here, it is only one single meassure. And since the US strongly discourages grade retention it is likely to concern few children, especially if their parents are wealthy. And we still have the problem of planned versus unplanned children that was mentioned previously, as well as gay men as parents which isn’t mentioned at all.

        The second link refers to exactly the same study that Jared linked to in a previous comment so you can read my thoughts on that there.

        As for deductive reasoning, let’s define terms. I would argue with you idea that “lumping together” implies that the elements lumped together are equivalent. If that was the case then every single category would consist of identical elements, which is absurd. The French is one category, Tourists are another. They are not identical twins they only share a few (in some cases one) thing that defines the category.

        In the case of people with mental illness, anger issues, alcohol and drug users they – along with gay people – are members of a category that I suspect could be unsuited as parents more often than the average. That is what defines the category. In no way does it follow that they are somehow equivalent. So, no it cannot be logically deduced. It does not follow from the premise.

        And even if it did, it still wouldn’t follow that I’m a homophobe. Thinking a group would be less suited to adopt children than other groups is not a negative attitude. Do you think people with schizophrenia would make great parents. Does that make you a schizo-phobe? No it don’t.

  7. Are you sure that pretending that everybody who has a critical argument out of his/her concern for children on that topic, has to be considered as homophobic truly reflects the maturity needed to educate a child?
    I hear a lot about rights, far less about duty s towards a child in education.

    I might agree that the most wishes for children are narcissistic projections who mostly fail.But I see a difference in making a child together or using poverty structures for the own privileges.

    I get very dubious, when children have to flatter their education background through their behaviour. How much own issues gets put to the side to confirm such a well functioning?

    • JCR says:

      @antiphonsgarden

      Since these concerns are raised by the mere fact that the parents are gay, it does lead to suspect bigotry and homophobes. All families have issues. All children experience the possibility of being bullied, not performing well, being introverted, etc. etc. Having 2 working parents is as much an indicator that there may be issues with a child as having 2 gay parents. My wife works at my kids’ school, I volunteer there. The kids that have the most issues are the ones where mom and dad do not pay enough attention to the kids. There are a few gay couples, whose kids have no issues outside the norm. If you were to quantify the worst kids at the school, it would be those with 1 parent, who does not have time for the kids. Ask any teacher / childcare professional. This is well documented. Yet, somehow, people object to gays – who have to plan, decide and seek children in ways where it cannot be anything but well thought out.

  8. So, you confirm that this homosexual family and your own family are from the same social background, and that the true disturbance are those falling out of the middle class world vision who requires permanent confirmation of her own worth?

    That much to the true factors of tolerated equality who matter in this society!

    I guess, they even wear better clothes?

    • @antiphonsgarden

      That is not what I wrote at all. It is not a class thing. My kids attend a charter school, we have all ranges. There are plenty of poor families, even those with single parents. Just as there are middle and upper class families with single parents. And they do fine. The criteria, unambiguously, is parental involvement – regardless of class. Problem kids are in each class and each ethnic background. The linking criteria is whether the parents care about the kids’ education and are involved in the kids’ lives.

  9. As if caring for the education of the kids was not maybe something else than just another middle class concept of pushing kids through a system of hierarchical performance avoiding to see the evident mess the kids will have to face because of class division and ecological resource abuse created by exactly this thoughtless achievement system.

    So, who are those “problem kids” you talk about?
    Maybe those aware that the ship is sinking?

    Pointing at “less social well behaviours” as self flattering point collecting pointing at the own “well functioning”?

    • The issue was discrimination against homosexual couples seeking children. The argument was that homosexual couples should be specially evaluated or not allowed to adopt because their children would have problems. I was pointing out that kids with “problems” span classes, ethnicity and parent backgrounds.

      If you wish to have a debate about our education system or class based society, that is something entirely different.

  10. No…it is not something completely different, when the problem could just be over fulfilling of normative concept to legitimate the own well doing.

    I find it very interesting that homosexuals who have been supported by society critical movements tries now more and more to appear as pillars of a reactionary society dividing their gain of privileges from social justice for all.

    Instead of group favouritism, why not join in the fight for human rights in general?

    Would you please share your view on a certain tourism, who considers as normal that poor women accept pregnancy’s on demand for wealthy in wish of a child. Have you never heard about the abuses of a certain pretend charity adoption market?

    How do you think, are children going to handle such situations ?

  11. misha says:

    While I still remain on the fence on the issue of adoption in same-sex marriages, I must say that based on the discussion shown here, the pro-adoption supporters are not doing themselves any favors.

    I am not a homophobe, far from it. But I am curious to know more on the subject. After all, less we forget, same-sex unions/marriages have been thrusted into society within a very short time frame. I would hope that further changes in the social fabric will not be at the expense of any particular demographic group (yes, I mean children).

  12. Matt Leary says:

    Guess what? Inserting my own opinion. I’m a little late, but someone’s going to see this. I am pro-same-sex adoption. More particularly, I am pro-loving parents adoption whether there is one, or if they’re straight or gay or whatever. I have to say that the conversation does seem to have degenerated into opposing sides and ad hominem attacks, as these types of dialogues usually do. It may shock you that I think you posters who are skeptical towards the issues raise some great points about the studies. That is ciritical thinking! So, sorry if it seems you were being discredited for your healthy skepticism. I understand where the concern would be that it seems like it’s more about the rights of prospective parents than the children themselves. I also believe there should be scrutiny towards all prospective parents. But, the simple fact is that not all who actively deny adoption to same-sex coupese are thinking about the children’s welfare, education, upbringing, etc. They see gays as ‘deviants’, ‘perverts’, ‘sinners’, etc. who aren’t capable of providing healthy homes for children. This is just not true. That is where the ‘gay rights’ thing comes in. The real question here is whether children growing up in a same-sex household will be provided with a healthy homelife and a solid education. That’s a valid concern. I think everyone should keep an open mind and always be critical. Wanting better studies and holding them under scrutiny falls on the side of “Is this working? ” rather than “Is this right?”. We definetely need to move the country out of the condition it is in where ignorance in the form of political and religious ideologies dictates the quality of people’s lives.

  13. Matt Leary Dover, PA says:

    Now, on the subject of marriage and DADT, there is no question. First of all, homosexuality is not unnatural. It is abundant in nature. Many species engage in homosexual activities and some even show long-term homosexual partnerships. Not that we should look to animals for what is right or what works, but they are the ultimate representatives of NATURE and the experts on what is ‘natural’. It has also been present in humanity at least as long as there has been recorded history and probably longer. And speaking of history, ‘traditional marriage’ is a term that is used for one thing, but when broken down, means something completely different. Even Biblical marriage does not mean what people use it for. Which kind of Biblical marriage? The forced ones between slaves, women and their rapists, or widows and their brother-in-laws OR the ones between a man and dozens or even hundreds of women. Same sex marriages were performed in ancient Rome, medieval Europe and were even sanctioned by the early Christian church! The story of David and Jonathan, though not overtly sexual, or officially a marriage, is a perfect example of an ideal male-male romantic and spiritual partnership (i.e. MARRIAGE). Also, marriage started out as a way to join families, tribes, and kingdoms to consolidate land, material possessions, and powers. My point: Marriage is an evolving concept and what a marriage entails is not fixed or traditional by any means. The one unchanging truth about marriage is that it is a union. In our culture, though it maintains it’s spiritual and romantic connotations, it has become involved extensively with the legal and financial framework of our society. Therefore, it is a LEGAL status and should be dealt with objectively. It is a CIVIL matter and this status should not be denied to any two consenting adults. When a couple has children or property, there are legal and financial ramifications when the couple splits or when one passes away. Marriage contains certain measures and statutes that are meant to be fail-safes in these situations. However, it is up to the couple to choose whether they want to enter into this long-term contractual relationship. When same-sex couples are denied this choice, it is INJUSTICE- plain and simple. I firmly believe that churches and religious leaders should retain the right to deny ordaining any union they do not approve of. However, the state should NOT. Neither should business be allowed to DISCRIMINATE. All of this is usually lumped into the phantom “gay agenda”. Opponents often claim that this will negatively affect children and even attempt to insert ‘gay propaganda’ into schools. Elementary school children are not seen as sexually mature nor should they be. Therefore discussing any type of sexuality is inappropriate. However, as soon as sexual education becomes relevant in 6th or 7th grade, homosexuality should be taught as a normal and healthy sexual expression, though not focused on. Especially since this when the infamous bullying begins or when gay children may realize they are ‘different’. Teaching safe sex is crucial in sex ed. This does not mean that sexual activity of any kind is or should be encouraged. As for DADT, that is just ridiculous. Under this unjust law, any gay service member whose sexual orientation was discovered, was DISCHARGED. It is not about some ‘liberal’ conglomeration taking over America. That is right-wing BS used to maintain this insane culture war. People think that repealing DADT has something to do with forcing people to come out. NOT TRUE! Under DADT, if a gay soldier had a photo of him/herself with their partner tucked away and it was found by someone, that person could go to their superior officer and out the service member who would then be discharged. People don’t seem to understand this. That is UNAMERICAN. And to think that the same people who are all “Support the Troops!’ booed a soldier on national television because he was gay! The level of hypocrisy, injustice, hatred, confusion, and bigotry in this country’s political and religious landscape is OUT OF CONTROL!!!! We need a return to REASON AND BALANCE, if indeed we ever had it. I believe it will happen eventually. If our economy completely collapses or geological and climatological disasters wreak their havoc, we will be forced to focus on what works and what doesn’t instead of who’s right and wrong.

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