Thursday, July 21, 2016

From the Archives: Former Senator Rick Santorum says homosexuals deserve protection

Publisher's note: This article was originally published on on March 8, 2015. The publishing platform was discontinued July 1, 2016, and its web site was scheduled to go dark on or about July 10, 2016.  I am republishing this piece in an effort to preserve it and all my other contributions to since April 6, 2010. It is reposted here without most of the internal links that were in the original.

Former Senator Rick Santorum says homosexuals deserve protection

Former Senator Rick Santorum (R-Penn.), who was a candidate for the Republican presidential nomination in 2012 and a likely candidate for the same job in 2016, placed sixth in the annual CPAC straw poll last month, behind Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul, Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker, Texas Sen. Ted Cruz, Dr. Ben Carson, and former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush. Santorum also garnered sixth place in the 2014 CPAC straw poll.

Despite his poor poll showing, Santorum's still-unofficial presidential campaign had a visible presence at CPAC (the Conservative Political Action Conference), which took place in suburban Washington, D.C., and attracted more than 11,000 participants.

On February 27, after hosting a townhall-style meeting for about 250 supporters and potential supporters, Santorum spoke briefly with members of the news media. During the press gaggle, the Charlottesville Libertarian Examiner posed two questions to the former senator, both on foreign policy issues.

'Obligation to protect all people'

First, Santorum, who is well known for his socially conservative positions with regard to gay rights, was asked whether it is appropriate for the U.S. Department of State to defend the rights of homosexuals in foreign countries where their lives might be threatened by anti-gay governments.

“We have to defend human rights everywhere,” Santorum replied. “If someone's life is threatened because of race, sexual orientation, or other [reasons], I think we have an obligation to stand up and defend that human right. I don't have a problem at all, if people's lives are in jeopardy, then we have an obligation to protect all people and their freedoms.”

'A different threat'
Second, the former Pennsylvania senator was asked whether Middle Eastern or Islamic terrorism poses a greater threat to the United States today than the Soviet Union did during the Cold War.

“I think it's a different threat,” Santorum said.

Islamic terrorism, he explained, is “a threat that is in some respects is more difficult to understand and to respond to.”

Rick Santorum at CPAC 2015
In contrast, “the Soviet Union was in many respects a predictable animal. Remember, we had policies like Mutual Assured Destruction, and we did it because we knew how they would behave, how they would act.”

“In fact,” he added, the Soviets “were very predictable. That doesn't mean they weren't evil, that doesn't mean they weren't oppressive, that doesn't mean they weren't everything that Reagan and others said about them.”

Today, he explained, “the complexity of dealing with radical Islam – and the fact that there are 1.5 billion Muslims around the world – makes this a much more difficult issue and one that, if you look historically, [is] a more intransigent problem for the West than the 50 years of the Cold War.”

The “other war” against Islamic terrorism, he concluded, almost as an afterthought, has lasted “a thousand years.”

Video of this press gaggle with likely GOP presidential candidate Rick Santorum is available on YouTube.


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