Gay Marriage 'Suicidal': Rick Santorum Says Republicans Embracing Gay Marriage Would Be 'Suicidal'

on April 11 2013 9:13 AM
Rick Santorum
Republican Rick Santorum is known for his ultra-conservative stance on gay marriage. REUTERS

Former Sen. Rick Santorum (R-Pa.) has a stern message for the GOP regarding its stance on gay marriage.

In a Monday interview with the Des Moines Register, the former presidential candidate warned his fellow conservatives against supporting marriage equality, stating that reversal of course on the issue would be “suicidal” to the Republican Party.

While Santorum doesn’t believe that the party will undergo a fundamental shift on the issue of gay marriage, he did compare the growing divide on the issue to the GOP’s schism over abortion rights decades ago.

"I'm sure you could go back and read stories, oh, you know, 'The Republican Party's going to change. This is the future.' Obviously that didn’t happen," Santorum told the Register. "I think you’re going to see the same stories written now, and it’s not going to happen. The Republican Party's not going to change on this issue. In my opinion it would be suicidal if it did."

Although Santorum isn’t opposed to a debate about gay marriage, he is adamant that the GOP should not alter its “foundational principles.”

"Just because some of those things happen to be popular right now doesn't mean the Republican Party should follow suit," he told the Register.

In recent weeks, Republican senators Mark Kirk (Illinois) and Rob Portman (Ohio) have each spoken out in favor of gay marriage. Meanwhile, a recent Washington Post poll showed that the majority of Americans are now in favor of marriage equality.

However, a strong element of the Republican Party remains steadfast in its refusal to support gay marriage. When Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus suggested that the party embrace gay marriage in order to compete in future elections, former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee warned that such a shift could cause religious elements to leave the GOP, The Week reports.

Republican mainstay Newt Gingrich parroted Huckabee’s concerns, stating that an about-face on gay marriage would cause old-school conservatives to “flake off.” The resistance to reform led Priebus to reiterate that the party was still officially opposed to gay marriage, The Week reports.

Santorum added that he didn’t believe that the recent support for gay marriage was “a well thought-out position by the American public." While the Supreme Court is slated to rule on two marriage equality cases in June, Santorum is optimistic that the justices will vote to uphold traditional marriage.

"I think you'll see, hopefully, a chastened Supreme Court is not going to make the same mistake in the cases as they did in Roe v. Wade," he said. "I’m hopeful the Supreme Court learned its lesson about trying to predict where the American public is going on issues and trying to find rights in the Constitution that sit with the fancy of the day."

 

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