By: Nicole Lashomb, Editor-in-Chief*
As the 2012 Presidential election nears, the Republican candidates have become more and more preposterous and pervasive in their personal views about Americans, our collective society and neo-conservative views. In what I believe to be a desperate attempt at gaining wide support around the country from their historically social conservative base, the potential presidential candidates have focused on hot buttons issues once again such as gay marriage and the institution of “family.”
Regardless of unfounded claims, a 2011 Gallup poll discovered that a majority of Americans support same-sex marriage. Nearly every political classification saw a rise in the percentage of their affiliated members who favor marriage equality–Democrats, Liberals, Conservatives, Moderates, and Independents, with the exception of Republicans. Their “approval rating” was the exact same as last year, only 28%.
According to a report from the Huffington Post, potential Republican candidate Rick Santorum stated:
“We have to fight the battles in the states,” he said at an Iowa Thanksgiving Family Forum “We cannot defer. We can’t say, ‘The 10th Amendment, they can do what they want.’ This is too important for that. There’s a basic and central value. The family is the bedrock of our society. Unless we protect it with the institution of marriage, our country will fall.”
The concept of “family” has been polluted by politicians and other pseudo-leaders like Santorum for decades. I equate this rhetoric to be used in the same convoluted way that the term “Christian” has been tarnished too. Families come in all forms and true Christians or any other religious group for that matter should not spread hate and discrimination.
I agree with Santorum, the family is the bedrock of our society and our country will fall unless we protect the institution of marriage–ALL marriages and ALL families.
However, let’s set aside moral corruptness and the “right” for leaders to actively discriminate against the LGBT community. Does he even realize the success and economic growth that has taken place in the states that have allowed gay marriage? Or is he battling his internal demons so much that he can only focus on the anti-gay movement, regardless of how much it would benefit the nation?
Last year, CBS news reported that in states that allow gay marriage such as Massachusetts, Vermont, New Hampshire and Iowa, hundreds of jobs have been created due to the nuptials and millions of dollars infused into state economies.
If gay marriage had not been overturned in California, gay couples were projected to spend $684 million on flowers, cakes, hotels, photographers and other wedding services over a three-year time period alone. This information can be verified by the Williams Institute at University of California, Los Angeles School of Law.
So, considering all things Mr. Santorum, I’m not sure who exactly would support your anti-gay campaign, certainly not the majority of Americans–they already stand in our corner–remember? Even 28% of Republicans support marriage equality. Considering these numbers, who exactly are you trying to influence by introducing such volatile comments? The other 72% of Republicans? It cannot be ignored that Independents are often the individuals that end up deciding the election. Spreading hate for the LGBT community doesn’t seem to win their vote either. But, please, allow your ludicrous rhetoric to continue. It makes us that much closer to attaining marriage equality simply by keeping you out of office.