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Sex and the Senator

The national GOP is coming to the defense of Sen. Rick Santorum, who is currently in some hot water for his repellant remarks about gays and “deviant” behavior.

Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist defended Sen. Rick Santorum on Wednesday as a “voice for inclusion and compassion” while the White House remained silent on the Pennsylvania Republican’s remarks about homosexuality.

Frist, of Tennessee, and Pennsylvania’s senior Republican senator, Arlen Specter, rallied to Santorum’s side after all of the leading Democratic presidential contenders condemned him for comparing gay sex to incest, bigamy and polygamy in an interview published Monday.

“Rick is a consistent voice for inclusion and compassion in the Republican Party and in the Senate, and to suggest otherwise is just politics,” Frist told The Associated Press.

Specter said he accepted Santorum’s assurance that the remarks to the AP “should not be misconstrued in any way as a statement on individual lifestyles.”

“I have known Rick Santorum for the better part of two decades, and I can say with certainty he is not a bigot,” Specter said.

Somewhere, Trent Lott is wondering why no one loves him as much as they love Rick Santorum. Andrew Sullivan gets it right in noting that what Santorum says goes far beyond mere distaste for homosexuality:

[W]hat Santorum is proposing is far more radical. It is not simply that we should have public standards for morality, but that this can and should be imposed even on people in their private homes. He would not simply assert a social norm; he would enforce it with the power of the state. That’s why he not only believes that sodomy laws should be constitutional. He believes they should exist. And if they exist, they should be enforced.

I suppose it’s never occurred to a good upstanding Christian family man like Rick Santorum that his doctrine of majority-enforced sexual morality could ever be used against him. As Atrios notes, Santorum has a large family. I wonder how Rick Santorum would feel if a more malevolent form of the Zero Population Growth movement gained popularity and succeeded in passing laws that forbade any woman from bearing more than two children. What sort of effect would such a thing have on the sex life of someone who believes that birth control and abortion are morally wrong? I suppose that’s the nice thing about believing you’ll always be in the majority – you never have to think about such theoretical miscellania.

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One Comment

  1. Wylie says:

    The comment the senator made spoke to the ramifications of the Supreme Court striking down the law by finding it unconstitutional. IF they do that, then it follows that any other law concerning the conduct of two or more consenting adults, or conceivably even adults and minors, could be struck down using the same argument, nullifying laws against bigamy, incest, etc.

    Just because a law is bad doesn’t make it unconstitutional. The gay lobby got all riled up because they know Sanatorum is anti-gay and probably approves of the Texas law but he didn’t say that, they simply inferred it. I think all he was saying was that the Court should look before they leap on this one, because it could really open up a can of worms if they strike it down.