Santorum Brings Anti-Gay Message to Washington State as Marriage Equality Becomes Reality

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Washington – Rick Santorum is bringing his increasingly vitriolic campaign to Washington State today, the same day Governor Christine Gregoire is signing into law historic marriage equality legislation. Santorum’s archaic anti-gay rhetoric stands in stark contrast to the momentum for marriage that has swept the state in recent months. Just two weeks ago, Santorum told a gay man in Missouri that he didn’t deserve the “privilege” of marriage because same-sex relationships didn’t “benefit society like a marriage between a man and a woman.”

“Today is a historic day in Washington State, and it’s reflective of the growing support for marriage equality we’re seeing across the nation – regardless of one’s religion or background,” said HRC President Joe Solmonese. “Rick Santorum’s sideshow is purely a political maneuver designed to draw attention to a campaign that is dramatically out of step with the values of mainstream Americans.”

Washington’s marriage equality legislation passed with bipartisan support. Nationally, polling shows over 50 percent of Americans support marriage equality. Santorum has seen first-hand how increasingly archaic his messages are – his anti-gay rhetoric has been met with boos and challenges at times on the campaign trail.

According to the Seattle Times, Santorum will hold a meeting today at an Olympia church before a 7 p.m. PT event at the Washington State History Museum in Tacoma.

Santorum doesn’t have just policy differences with LGBT equality advocates – instead, he often goes after LGBT people on a more insidious level. He has compared marriage equality to polygamy and inanimate objects like cars, trees, and basketballs. Santorum also has criticized LGBT families and adoption by saying it is preferable for children to have a father in jail instead of two gay parents. He’s called the repeal of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” (DADT) a “tragic social experiment.” Santorum’s legislative work also was aimed at making life difficult for LGBT Americans – he voted against both hate crimes protections and workplace equality legislation.

The Human Rights Campaign is America’s largest civil rights organization working to achieve lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender equality. By inspiring and engaging all Americans, HRC strives to end discrimination against LGBT citizens and realize a nation that achieves fundamental fairness and equality for all.