"If the Supreme Court says that you have the right to consensual sex within your home," Sen. Rick Santorum told an AP reporter, "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 was talking about a Supreme Court case questioning the constitutionality of Texas' so-called sodomy laws, which make consensual sex between same-sex adults a crime.
Elizabeth Birch, executive director of the Human Rights Campaign, a leading gay rights organization, led a chorus of liberal critics saying in response: "When Trent Lott made similar comments, he lost his position as majority leader, and it is time for the Republican Party to consider similar steps with Sen. Santorum."
First, let's cover a little history. The Civil War was America's bloodiest conflict. The war divided the nation for generations.
Brother didn't fight brother over gay marriage or homosexuals in the military. Gays weren't kidnapped in Africa and brought to America against their will to toil in our fields. It's important to keep all this in mind as the chorus of comparisons between Santorum and Lott gets louder.
When Trent Lott defended Jim Crow, he was defending something that had been rejected by two generations of Americans. Santorum, meanwhile, was giving an opinion about an existing law that is currently being debated in the Supreme Court. In short, the two remarks are just different things.
Santorum's comments were off base, but so are the demands he step down. How was Santorum wrong? When you look at the full context of his remarks, he was making a slippery slope argument, not a comparison. He could have been clearer. Even the slippery slope argument is wrong. Why would allowing homosexuals to listen to Barry Manilow records (hey, there could be kids reading this) in the privacy of their homes lead to the legalization of incest?
Maybe Santorum's confused about which gay rights argument is being discussed. Legalizing gay marriage might