Rick Santorum Gay Marriage: Iowa Caucus Star Booed in New Hampshire [VIDEO]

on January 06 2012 1:06 PM
Rick Santorum
Rick Santorum said he would urge his daughter not to get an abortion if she were raped. Reuters

Rick Santorum defended his anti-gay marriage stance to college students in New Hampshire on Thursday, and to say it didn't go over very well would be an understatement.

Attendees at College Convention 2012 in Concord, N.H., a forum organized by New England College which was open to New Hampshire students of any political affiliation, challenged Santorum to explain why same-sex couples should not be able to marry, and Santorum -- who is trying to win over more moderate voters after staging an upset in Iowa on Tuesday -- engaged them in a tense conversation.

Don't you have to make a positive argument that the law should be change? he asked the first few questioners. You, the person who wants do this, tell me, what is the justification? What is the public purpose?

One student pointed out that married couples have hospital visitation rights and same-sex couples, in most states, do not. Santorum responded that this right could be extended through contracts without allowing same-sex couples to marry.

Another student argued that the right to marry falls under the pursuit of happiness, one of the inalienable rights as stated in the Declaration of Independence. Santorum responded to that with a version of the same argument that got him in hot water with Dan Savage back in 2003. Then, he compared homosexuality to bestiality and pedophilia; now, he compared it to polygamy, as he has done more than once before.

If two men should be able to marry, what about three men? If you think it's OK for two, then you have to differentiate with me as to why it's not OK for three, he said. If you're not happy unless you're married to five other people, is that OK?

That's irrelevant, the questioner answered. In my opinion, yeah, go for it. But what I'm asking you is, how do you justify your beliefs based on these high morals you have about all men being created equal?

Because I believe we are made the way God made man and woman, and man and woman come together to have a union to produce children, which keeps civilization going and provides the best environment for children to be raised, Santorum responded. I think that is something society should value and should give privileged status over a group of people who want to have a relationship together.

Santorum: States Should Not Determine Same-Sex Marriage Issue

Asked whether he would be willing to leave the issue of same-sex marriage up to the states, Santorum said no.

I don't believe that we can have 50 definitions of marriage, he said, likening it to having 50 definitions of what life is -- a reference to his staunch opposition to abortion. I don't think that works either. I think there are certain things that are essential elements of society, upon which society rests, that we have to have a consensus.

At first, Santorum seemed happy to engage the students in conversation, even joking, I'm surprised I got a gay-marriage question at a college crowd. Really, that's a shock to me. But as the barrage of questions continued, he began to try to turn the conversation over to other topics, with little success.

When the event ended, there was a smattering of applause, but it was drowned out by a chorus of boos.

Watch the video here:

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