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GOP candidates oppose gay rights, equality for the LGBT community

Published: Monday, January 16, 2012

Updated: Tuesday, September 24, 2013 10:09

As one who pegs himself as not too intrigued by the political arena, I find myself abandoning my pre-adult years and becoming further entrenched in the semantics of the "he said she said" along the treacherous road to the White House. Not only have the recent caucuses in Iowa, New Hampshire (a first timer) and South Carolina seen incredibly close results, they've also shed light on why I won't be endorsing a Grand Old Party (GOP) candidate come fall.

Newt Gingrich feels he has a "contract" to make with America, claiming that the country must be a "nation of laws" forming everything from healthcare to foreign diplomacy. Rick Santorum, former senator from Pennsylvania, believes that "American experience is the family, and that without strong families, we cannot have a strong and vibrant nation." And current poll leader, Mitt Romney, former Governor of Massachusetts, seeks to utilize his business savvy to procure financial stability for the American economy.

At face value, the above candidates appear appealing and intriguing – what their mission statements fail to mention, however, is their narrow-mindedness in regards to a hot topic among sociopolitical issues: gay rights.

I understand the stigma associated with the label "one-topic voter" but I feel safe in my assertion that gay rights (not just marriage) represent the paramount concern amongst members of the LGBT community. So where does their fancy rhetoric polluted with meaningless babble end, and where does the truth behind it begin? Allow me to guide the way.

Santorum has long been a staunch opponent of everything ‘gay' such as marriage, health and death benefits and even homosexual's ability to be an effective parent. At a preparatory school in Dublin, NH on January 7, Santorum caused a media frenzy when he stated "even fathers in jail who [have] abandoned their kids [are] still better than no father at all." Essentially, Senator Santorum steadfastly holds that a heterosexual, imprisoned father is better and more effective than an at-home homosexual father.

Is this really the kind of person we want leading our nation?

According to his 2005 book "It Takes A Family," Santorum is a self-proclaimed advocate of a "more family values oriented society centered on monogamous, heterosexual relationships, marriage and child-raising." His contention that a healthy family exists solely only within the confines of a heterosexual relationship is purely unfounded as no research suggests that sickly (either mentally or physically) children are produced as a result of two gay parents.

If Santorum opposes the gay lifestyle, that is his right as an American. But what is not his to judge is the love that a person has for another human being. If he is such a proponent of family and supporter of the "champion of faith and families," why does he care what someone else calls a ‘family?'

On his personal website, Santorum claims "that our freedom to practice our faith is not just under attack through the redefinition of marriage, but in nearly every facet of the popular culture." He fails, however, to cite how redefining marriage threatens anyone's faith, let alone every facet of the popular culture.

Would allowing two men to marry or legally wed impede on a couple in rural Missouri? Would two married women affect the relationship or faith of a couple living in urban Seattle? If there is a legitimate argument for Santorum's allegations, I have yet to come across such.

In a nutshell, I simply do not understand why candidates, specifically the GOP, insist on holding such ignorant, un-American views of the LGBT community. Not only does their mindless rhetoric breed hate and inferiority, but what does (for lack of a better word) "picking on" gays and lesbians do for you?

In an article from "The Christian Post" dated Dec. 21, 2011, Scott Arnold questioned former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich on how, as president, he would engage gay Americans.

Gingrich responded saying they "should vote for Obama." He continued saying, "I think those for whom the only issue that really matters is the definition of marriage, I won't get their support. I accept that as reality." With an obvious lack of concern for the gay community, I wonder how Mr. Gingrich might feel if he was being discriminated against and how he might respond to someone brushing off his self-identity like it's a non-issue?

Sure, economy, job creation and homeland security are important to the LGBT community, as well, but it's like a Jenga puzzle: When you have nothing at the bottom to support the structure that is your hierarchy of concerns as a human being, what's at the top becomes a secondary concern.

The GOP consistently passes judgment on the origin of one's homosexuality, claiming that they decide and/or choose to be so. In a very elementary form of logic, did they decide to be straight and like women? Or, were they born that way, like most research suggests? I think it's incredibly unfair for a heterosexual person to determine how one "becomes" gay … it's like a fish teaching a bird to fly: I think the bird might be the better expert since, after all, it has the wings.

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