Rick Santorum and the End of Freedom
As you probably know, there is a little excerpt in the Declaration of Independence that reads as follows: “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.” For those of you who aren’t entirely sure liberty simply means freedom, and in this context it means freedom from arbitrary governmental control, clearly inspired by the way the colonies were being treated by the mother country.
In what follows I will present to you the idea that Rick Santorum being elected as president would effectively end the right to liberty in this country and require the removal of the first amendment to the U.S. Constitution, based on information he has provided regarding his positions surrounding homosexuality and homosexual marriage.
What We Know - Santorum’s Beliefs
Rick Santorum believes anal sex will ruin families. He believes that pedophilia in the priesthood is a basic homosexual relationship, and believes that gay marriage will lead to the legalization of bestiality. Santorum believes that there should be laws banning anal sex, and that there should be no right to privacy so this can be regulated. He believes that any homosexuals should abstain from having sex (source). If elected president, Rick Santorum would support a federal amendment that would ban gay marriage over the entire country.
In a 2003 interview, Rick Santorum implied homosexuality was not a choice. He said: “I have nothing, absolutely nothing against anyone who’s homosexual. If that’s their orientation, then I accept that. And I have no problem with someone who has other orientations” (source). For his presidential campaign, however, he has stated many times that he believes homosexuality is in fact a choice, can be changed, and would want a woman or man who identifies as homosexual to only marry someone of the opposite gender (source).
Let’s Talk About Sex
Now that you know what he has stated, let’s begin to look at his argument more carefully. Though I never thought I’d have to prove this, but to equate pedophilia in the priesthood as a basic homosexual relationship is a poor comparison. The age of consent for sexual relationships in the United States ranges somewhere between the ages of 14 and 18, and averages out somewhere around 17. Because children cannot consent to sexual intercourse, they are not participating in a homosexual relationship: they are being raped. Worse still, to compare homosexuality to bestiality is also a miscalculation, as he assumes animals can consent to participate in sexual acts. If Mr. Santorum would like to make that comparison, he would also be inferring then that you should charge every dog who humps your leg with attempted rape, because we as humans would not be consenting to a sexual act.
Consent is the major issue with Santorum’s political stance. Two men over the age of consent in their state are allowed to have sex in their bedrooms because they both are legally entitled to the freedom of engaging in a sexual act (or sexual relationship). Doing this is an exercise in liberty, as we are using our personal freedom and control over our bodies to participate in an act that another consenting adult wants to participate in. Both adults have agreed to complete an act, the act is private and does not influence others, and no one is harmed in any way at the end of the completion of an act (albeit some may be a bit sore). Santorum’s position is that consent is not enough to be allowed to participate in a homosexual sexual relationship.
Santorum believes that male homosexual intercourse, which is considered sodomy (the penetration of the anus), should be made illegal. That would mean the U.S. government believes it is appropriate to revoke the consent of two adults, and limit the freedom to participate in an act that no one else is involved in, and no one is harmed by. That is a clear violation of liberty, which is what this country is founded on.
Marriage: Why Can’t Gays Be Miserable Too?
One of the cruxes of Santorum’s presidential campaign has been his extremely conservative social values, one of which being gay marriage. Santorum wants to amend the U.S. Constitution to define marriage between one man and one woman, preventing any gay couple in the U.S. to be legally married and immediately nullifying any gay marriage licence granted by individual states, states which already have extensively debated the legality of gay marriage and determined it is in the best interests of their states to allow gay marriage.
Consent is again the focal point of this matter. Two men or women (sorry ladies, you’re roped into this argument now too) would like to enter a legal contract stating their intention to be husband and husband or wife and wife until death do they part. Rick Santorum’s belief is that the U.S. government should intervene and state that they are not allowed to do so, and the U.S. government would have to find a valid reason to do so (if you’re thinking “religion”, hold that thought!). If we, for the moment, disregard the fact that the U.S. government will need a valid reason to ban gay marriage, we still see a major violation of liberty. Two individuals want to enter a contract stating that they are married has no direct effect on anyone else but these two consenting adults, and therefore there should be no government interference as it is a violation of liberty and the very principals this country was founded on.
Now, assuming Santorum stands solely against gay marriage and not against the idea that a gay couple can live together, we face another problem. The reason marriage for gay couples is not simply a status symbol, but entitles them to important legal and financial benefits such as medical insurance, home ownership, property rights and other financial gains, and adoption. Some argue that gay people should be entitled to all of the same benefits except marriage, but it takes a single parallel to debunk that idea of equality: when was the last time we saw “separate but equal” as a legal issue in this country? That would be the segregation of black and white children into separate schools, an issue that caused a civil rights movement across the country. An issue that judges ruled in favor of total equality… fifty years ago.
And while we’re on the topic of race, if one is to argue that gay people cannot get married because they could not raise kids, try comprehending the fact that as many as 72% of African American children are born to unwed mothers (source). More than ever in the history of the United States, single parents are raising children, and I simply cannot believe it would be a disadvantage having two parents of the same sex rather than a single, unwed parent.
I would be remiss if I didn’t bring up the fact that Rick Santorum suggests gay people should still enter heterosexual marriages. It is egregious to think that having a million gay people enter heterosexual marriages would protect the sanctity of marriage; it would turn it into the biggest social and political mockery this world has ever seen and would leave the rest of the world wondering what the hell has happened to this country. That implication further stresses that there is no reversing course on LGBT rights because it would be akin to telling Americans of African descent that it’s time they head back out to the cotton fields, or to tell women it’s time they gave up their jobs and head back into the kitchen forever. It just can’t happen.
I Have to Talk About Religion
Remember that religion thought you were holding? Well, we have to talk about it. Leviticus 18:22 of the Christian bible states that homosexuality is an abomination, and is the major crux of most opponents of marriage equality. If a federal ban on gay marriage is placed, it will end up at the U.S. supreme court, who will overturn it because there is no legal justification for a ban on homosexual marriage, and doing so violates both individual and states rights.
Rick has a plan for that. In a recent interview he expressed his position that religion should have a place in government (source). By doing so, this would allow the United States to add an amendment to the United States Constitution which would ban gay marriage based on the grounds that it is an abomination according to Christianity. If you didn’t realize it yet, that would also be a massive, massive breach of the first amendment to the U.S. Constitution which entitles religious freedom, and so clearly the first amendment of the U.S. Constitution would have to be removed because of the new stance on religion.
If you take a look back at the quote from the Declaration of Independence in the first paragraph, even the phrasing “their Creator” is nonspecific in it’s choice of religion and does not impose the soon-to-be country on any specific religion. Considering theories behind evolution were not the same in the 1700’s as they are today, it should not be a surprise that most people believed in some sort of God, and therefore “their Creator” was included. And to be specific, Mr. Santorum is a Christian and likely would not consider any other religions or their approaches to homosexuality, just his own. He would essentially attempt to choose a national religion for the people of the United States, allowing a religion that millions of people do not believe in to influence their lives.
Let me be clear. I don’t think Rick Santorum is going to win the election - I don’t think any Republican will. I think the majority of this country believes in human rights and human freedoms, and therefore will re-elect Barrack Obama in 2012. I don’t believe Rick Santorum would be able to institute religion into the government, nor do I believe that any Republican candidate will successfully be able to permanently ban gay marriage in this country.
Furthermore, I don’t believe this country will ever go (very far) backwards in the LGBT rights debate. As morbid as this may sound, a large percentage of homophobic people are older and as they begin dying out, the national position on gay rights should slowly but surely progress to the left. We may have to wait awhile, but I think equality for all is closer than we think. Keep fighting, keep spreading the love, and show people that being gay has absolutely nothing to do with the content of your character… except make you awesome.
The entire reason I’ve written this is to prove one thing: how batshit insane it is to believe in Rick Santorum. He is currently leading the race for the Republican nomination, which shows a serious, horrifying problem in this country. Millions of Americans will be voting in November, and millions of Americans could very well place support behind a man who wants to remove the first amendment rights of the people of this country.
I’m scared… not because of Rick Santorum, but because there are millions of people who actually believe this man is fit to lead this country. I’m scared to think just how many people would rather see me marry a woman in a loveless marriage rather than marry the man I love. I’m scared to think about how many people want to regulate what I do with my genitalia, and I’m scared to think about how many people would rather destroy the lives of beautiful families all because they care about where I stick my dick. I am scared that people are losing their ability to think logically, rationally, and with impartiality towards personal beliefs.
For that, I am scared.
Why do people care who I sleep with? Why do they care what goes on in a room they’re not invited to, have no business caring about, and shouldn’t even be thinking about?
Why do people think it’s a choice? Did they chose to be straight? No, but they think being gay is a choice.
Why do they think gay families can’t exist, if single parents raise kids every day?
Why do they quote the bible, but then go out for a shellfish dinner, or work on Sundays, or have sex before marriage and pretend those things aren’t forsaken in the bible either? What the fuck kind of mental case does it take to do something like that?
Why is homophobia so prevalent in the south? They claim to hate the fact we call them stupid, but Jesus Christ it’s not a far leap.
Why do people think it’s unnatural to be gay, and yet go and have corrective eye surgery or a lung transplant? Since when is swapping body parts something in “God’s plan”?
Why is it that complete losers feel they have a right to insult successful gay people? Look in a fucking mirror for once.
Why do I keep thinking about all of the ways my life is complicated simply because something is out of my control?
Why do they say it gets better when the republican candidates for president all unite against gay marriage?
Why do people say gay marriage ruins the sanctity of marriage when people like Kim Kardashian, Britney Spears, Larry King, and so on have completely shit all over marriage values?
Why don’t people just love each other? Since when does hate fix our problems?
Why can’t I have my happily ever after without having to worry about being discriminated against?