Monday, January 02, 2012

Santorum Would Annul All U.S. Same-Sex Marriages


Rick Santorum, the ex-Senator from Pennsylvania who is one of the biggest religious-based homophobes now running for President (although that is a hotly contested title!) made news over the weekend for two reasons: he has surprisingly surged into the Top 3 in polls for tomorrow's Iowa caucuses and he said that he thinks that all same-sex marriages in the United States should be invalid.

I don't really care about the first item (I am confident that President Obama will be re-elected for a second term in November) but the second item needs further attention.

Here is what Santorum said exactly (to MSNBC's Chuck Todd):
SANTORUM: I think marriage has to be one thing for everybody. We can’t have 50 different marriage laws in this country, you have to have one marriage law…
TODD: What would you do with same-sex couples who got married? Would you make them get divorced?
SANTORUM: Well, their marriage would be invalid. I think if the constitution says “marriage is this,” then people whose marriage is not consistent with the constitution… I’d love to think there’s another way of doing it.
This statement demonstrates an astonishing ignorance and misunderstanding of federal law and marriage law, especially for a former United States Senator. Then, again, there's a reason why Santorum has been declared (by a fellow Republican who served as Senator John McCain's top aide for decade) as the dumbest United States Senator of the last twenty years:
Ron Paul may be the wackiest candidate in the GOP field. But for pure, blind stupidity nobody beats Santorum. In my 20 years in the Senate, I never met a dumber member, which he reminded me of today.
There are many reasons why Santorum's statement is so stupid but I will just list a few here

  1. There is no precedent for invalidating any legal contract which was legal when it was entered into (i.e. even when Proposition 8 passed preventing any future marriages all the previous marriages entered into before its enactment are still legal and recognized in California).
  2. The regulation of marriage IS a state issue and has been that way for centuries in this country; it is precisely that history (as well as the clearly defined animus against homosexuality that the law represents) which makes the so-called Defense of Marriage Act so constitutionally dubious, and this legal point will probably be settled within the current calendar year when the 9th and 1st U.S. Circuit Courts of Appeal finally issue rulings on the matter.
  3. The only way to "have one marriage law" would be to pass an amendment to the U.S. Constitution and there is absolutely no way that there are 2/3rds majorities in both houses to destroy the marriage rights of fellow U.S. citizens in the 6 states (and District of Columbia) where it is now legal.
This is really about Rick Santorum trying to burnish his heterosexual supremacist credentials with Iowa Republican caucus-goers. There is no way that he would ever be in the position to be able to enact his theocratic version of law into reality.

1 comment:

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Martin

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