Rick Santorum on Civil Rights

Republican Jr Senator (PA); 2012 presidential frontrunner


Freedom of conscience includes right to deny service to gays

Q: Should Kim Davis, an elected official in Kentucky, have been jailed for refusing to provide same-sex marriage licenses?

SANTORUM: Today, someone who defies a judge's unconstitutional verdict is ridiculed and criticized, chastised because she's standing up and not denying her God and her faith. People have a fundamental right in the First Amendment: the freedom of conscience.

PATAKI: When you are an elected official and you take an oath of office to uphold the law, all the laws, you cannot pick and choose or you no longer have a society that depends on the rule of law.

SANTORUM: Martin Luther King wrote in his letter from the Birmingham jail that there are just laws and there are unjust laws. And we have no obligation to condone and accept unjust laws. An unjust law goes against the moral code or God's law or the natural law. I would argue that what the Supreme Court did is against the natural law, it's against God's law and we have every obligation to stand in opposition to it.

Source: 2015 Republican two-tiered primary undercard debate on CNN , Sep 16, 2015

Stop harassing and persecuting people of faith

Q: What would be your 1st executive order?

SANTORUM: We're going to suspend & repeal every executive order, every regulation that cost American jobs & is impacting our freedom. And second, the First Amendment Defense Act, which is protecting religious liberty, if it's not passed by then, because the president will veto it, I will institute an executive order to make sure that people of faith are not being harassed and persecuted by the federal government for standing up for the religious beliefs.

Source: Fox News/Facebook Second Tier debate transcript , Aug 6, 2015

Fight gay marriage ruling, but not with civil disobedience

Q: The Supreme Court ruling that legalized same-sex marriage for the entire country, do you accept that ruling or do you fight it?

SANTORUM: Well, of course I'd fight it. Roe vs. Wade was decided 30 some years ago, and I continue to fight that, because I think the court got it wrong. And I think if the court decides this case in error, I will continue to fight, as we have on the issue of life. And that's the role of the citizenry. Q We're not bound by what nine people say in perpetuity. We have an obligation and a right in a free society to push back and get our Congress and our president and rally the American public to overturn what the court wants to do

Q: But you're not advocating states ignore the law, ignore the ruling?

SANTORUM: I don't advocate civil disobedience. I do advocate the role of an informed citizen to try to overturn when a court makes a mistake and gets an issue wrong.

Source: Meet the Press 2015 interviews of 2016 presidential hopefuls , May 31, 2015

I would never attend a same-sex wedding

Rick Santorum said he would never attend a same-sex wedding. Marco Rubio said he might attend one. Scott Walker actually went to a same-sex wedding reception, not to be confused with an actual same-sex wedding ceremony. Ted Cruz said he is firmly opposed to gay marriage, but would be comfortable if his daughter were gay.

The more conservative members of this Republican field--among them Cruz; Santorum; and Bobby Jindal--have aggressively emphasized their opposition to same-sex marriage. For them, the issue can be used to differentiate themselves not just from Democrats but from mainstream Republicans, like Jeb Bush, who is trying to appeal to a broader audience with an eye to the general election.

Support for same-sex marriage is increasing among Republican voters, but it is still a minority view. That creates a split between conservative Republicans looking to win a primary, and candidates seeking to win a primary without carrying too much baggage into a general election.

Source: N. Y. Times on 2015 Iowa Faith & Freedom Coalition summit , Apr 26, 2015

Push for religious liberty in workplace, but not anti-gay

Q: In Indiana, was it right for Governor Pence to change the language in the bill [clarifying that businesses may not deny service to gay couples based on the business owner's religion beliefs]?

SANTORUM: I was hoping he wouldn't. I think that the language they had is better language. This is acceptable language. I voted for this language, so I certainly can't say that it's a bad bill. It's a good bill, but it is a pretty limited view of what religious liberty is in the workplace. And we need to look at as religious liberty as now being pushed harder to provide more religious protections. And that bill doesn't do that.

Q: What now do you think with this new language changes?

SANTORUM: I think what we need to look at is, we aren't for discrimination against any person. I think that no business should discriminate because of who you are. But it should have the ability to say, we're not going to participate in certain activities that we disagree with from a religious point of view.

Source: CBS Face the Nation 2015 coverage:2016 presidential hopefuls , Apr 5, 2015

Diversity is a challenge, not necessarily a virtue

Diversity can be good or bad, but it's not necessarily a virtue for society; it is, in fact, a challenge. "E pluribus unum," the motto the Founding Fathers chose for this new nation, expresses something essential for its survival. "Out of many, one"--the United States was a joint venture undertaken by a people representing varied backgrounds. The role of any government is to fashion laws that help us get along with each other so we can reach our full potential-our American Dream.
Source: Blue Collar Conservatives, by Rick Santorum, p. 63 , Apr 28, 2014

Santorum side-by-side against Gingrich, Paul & Romney

Q: Is there any issue where Santorum agrees with Romney and not with Gingrich?

A: Yes, Santorum supports affirmative action, as does Romney, while Gingrich and Ron Paul oppose it. On other social issues, the four GOP frontrunners agree: all four oppose abortion, and all four support school prayer. But on al the other categories below, compare to see where they disagree:

Romney/Paul/Santorum/Gingrich side-by-side on Social Issues

Source: Paperback: Romney/Paul/Santorum/Gingrich side-by-side , Mar 2, 2012

I agree with hearing gay ideas but disagree with some

Q: Would you be a voice for speaking out for gay rights in your party?

A: I would be a voice in speaking out for making sure that every person in America, gay or straight, is treated with respect and dignity and has the equality of opportunity. That does not mean that I would agree with certain things that the gay community would like to do to change laws with respect to marriage or respect to adoption and things like that. You can be respectful. Just because you don't agree with someone's desire to change the law doesn't mean you hate them or you want to discriminate against them. If you watch the town hall meetings that I've been doing all over New Hampshire, I do so in a respectful tone: I listen to the other side. I let them make their arguments. And you know what, we may not agree.

Q: What if you had a son who came to you and said he was gay?

A: I would love him as much as I did before he said it, and I would try to do everything I can to be as good a father to him as possible.

Source: Meet the Press 2012 GOP New Hampshire debate , Jan 8, 2012

Marriage is a federal issue; we need one definition, not 50

Q: Your view on the 1,800 couples who have same-sex marriages under N.H. law?

SANTORUM: I believe the issue of marriage is a federal issue, that we can't have different laws with respect to marriage. We have to have one law. Marriage is a foundational institution of our country, and we have to have a singular law with respect to that. We can't have somebody married in one state and not married in another.

Q: If we have a federal constitutional amendment banning same-sex marriage, what happens to the 1,800 families who have married here in N.H.? Are their marriages basically illegitimate at this point?

SANTORUM: If the Constitution says marriage is between a man and a woman, then marriage is between a man and a woman. And therefore, that's what marriage is and would be in this country. And those who are not men and women who are married--would not be married. That's what the Constitution would say.

Source: WMUR 2012 GOP New Hampshire debate , Jan 7, 2012

Right to gay sex implies right to bigamy, incest, & adultery

Quote: "Is anyone saying same-sex couples can't love each other? I love my children. I love my friends, my brother. Heck, I even love my mother-in-law. Should we call these relationships marriage, too?" (Santorum's Philadelphia Inquirer column, May 22, 2008)

Quote: "If the Supreme Court says that you have the right to consensual [gay] sex within your home, then you have the right to bigamy, you have the right to polygamy, you have the right to incest, you have the right to adultery. You have the right to anything. Does that undermine the fabric of our society? I would argue yes, it does. That's not to pick on homosexuality. It's not man on child, or man on dog, or whatever the case may be." (AP interview, April 7, 2003)

Reaction: "Rick Santorum has expended a great deal of thought and energy to finding new words to disparage gay marriage," says an analyst at Breaking Copy. But even if you agree with Santorum, "would you really want a president who is this obsessed" with gay sex?

Source: Santorum's "9 most controversial statements" in The Week , Jan 5, 2012

No polygamy; no gay marriage

Q: [to Paul]: If a state wanted to allow polygamy, would that be okay, like gay marriage?

PAUL: No state is going to do that. Really, why do we have to have a license to get married? Just so nobody else forces their definition of marriage on you.

SANTORUM: It sounds to me like Rep. Paul would actually say polygamous marriages are OK. If the state has the right to do it, they have the right to do it. It is not beyond reality; it is exactly what's being offered in other states right now. And it's being litigated in our courts right now, which is exactly how gay marriage came about as we see here in Iowa where seven justices forced gay marriages on the people of Iowa. We can't have 50 marriage laws. This was the approach that the left took on abortion, which is to pick a few states, pick a few courts and then go to the Supreme Court and say "equal protection," you can't have different state laws then you will have nine people up at the Supreme Court deciding what marriage is in this country.

Source: Iowa Straw Poll 2011 GOP debate in Ames Iowa , Aug 11, 2011

Repeal Don't-Ask-Don't-Tell; punish behavior

Q: Now gays are allowed to serve openly in the military; would you leave that policy in place or would you try to change it back to "don't ask/don't tell"?

BACHMANN: I would keep the "don't ask/don't tell" policy.

CAIN: Now that they have changed it, I wouldn't create a distraction trying to turn it over as president.

PAUL: I would not work to overthrow it. We have to remember, rights don't come in groups. We shouldn't have gay rights. Rights come as individuals. If we have this major debate going on, it would be behavior that would count, not the person who belongs to which group.

SANTORUM: The job of the United States military is to protect and defend the people of this country. It is not for social experimentation. It should be repealed. And the commanders should have a system of discipline in place, as Ron Paul said, that punishes bad behavior.

Source: 2011 GOP primary debate in Manchester NH , Jun 13, 2011

Same-sex marriage is unprecedented social revolution

Even a year or two ago, few Americans imagined that we would be facing the issue of same-sex marriage today. Thanks to a few activist justices, however, America is on the verge of undergoing a social revolution simply without any historical precedent. There are few places where the clash between what freedom means and its impact on families is clearer than when it comes to transforming the definition of marriage.

Liberals believe that the traditional family is neither natural nor vital, that it's an antiquated social convention which has not only outlived its usefulness, but is now inherently discriminatory & repressive toward legitimate alternative "families."

Every known society has some form of marriage. And it's always about bringing together a male and a female into the kind of sexual union where the interests of children under the care of their own mother and father are protected. Marriage is the word for the way in which we connect a man, a woman, and their children into one loving family.

Source: It Takes A Family, by Sen. Rick Santorum, p. 30-31 , Apr 30, 2006

Marriage Protection Amendment is last resort, but needed

I support the Marriage Protection Amendment. The amendment would spell out in our Constitution what our founding fathers could not have fathomed would someday need to be said: that marriage is the union of one man and one woman. I fully understand that amending the Constitution is the most solemn of legislative changes and therefore should only be used as a last resort. But I fear we have reached the moment of last resort. Unlike the courts, Congress does not have the power to change the Constitution through a simple majority of one body. The amendment must pass the House and the Senate with a supermajority of 2/3 and then be ratified by a supermajority of 3/4 of the states. It is a long and difficult process.

Like so many important issues in our nation's history, it may take years for the Marriage Protection Amendment to pass. But like many other great struggles to ensure the common good, I am confident that it will one day become law.

Source: It Takes A Family, by Sen. Rick Santorum, p. 38-39 , Apr 30, 2006

Affirmative program for minority business-building

Our nation's African-Americans were most assuredly victims in countless ways. Obviously, too, as I know from my personal conversations with African-Americans, racism and discrimination still do exist in this country.

But it is wrong to believe the African-American story is one of victimhood only. To think in those terms is to deny the real accomplishments of the black community in our history, [especially] a tradition of business acumen and entrepreneurship.

There remains a very troubling disparity between whites and blacks. And this is really the result of a missing economic fundamental: business building and wealth creation.

Surely the most AFFIRMATIVE program to build up America's minority families would be one aimed at just this: using market-based solutions and public-private partnership emphasizing BUSINESS CREATION. We need to hang up "No Denials" signs in urban communities--the opposite of red-lining.

Source: It Takes A Family, by Sen. Rick Santorum, p.189-192 , Apr 30, 2006

Leave marriage definition to state legislatures & the people

If you support a mother and father for every child, you are a hater. If you believe men and women for 5,000 years have bonded together in marriage, you are a gay basher. Marriage is hate. Marriage is a stain. Marriage is an evil thing. That is what we hear. Isn't there a whole body of evidence out there, of 5,000 years of civilization, that shows plainly that children need mothers and fathers? That the basic unit of any successful society is moms and dads coming together to raise children?

The only way for the people to decide is exactly the process we have before us. It is the only way for the people to decide. Leave it to the people. It is a great mantra. Leave it to the States. What those who suggest that we leave it to the States are suggesting is to leave it to the State courts. That has always been the secret weapon of those who want to change our culture and change our laws without going through the process most of us think we have to go through to do that.

Source: Santorum speech in "A Senator Speaks Out", p.181-182 , Jul 13, 2004

Same-sex marriage takes us away from purpose of marriage

The next generation of marriage--is it about a selfless definition or a selfish definition? Is it about children? Certainly a change in the definition of traditional marriage to include people of the same sex is not about children; it is about adults. That further takes us away from the central purpose of marriage, which is the bonding of a man and a woman for creating a union by which children for the next generation are born. As we get further away from the ideal, children suffer and cultures die.
Source: Santorum speech in "A Senator Speaks Out", p.172-173 , Jul 12, 2004

Homosexual orientation ok; but homosexual act are sodomy

Q: Should we outlaw homosexuality?

A: I have no problem with homosexuality. I have a problem with homosexual acts. As I would with other acts outside of traditional heterosexual relationships. And that includes a variety of different acts, not just homosexual. I have absolutely nothing against anyone who's homosexual. If that's their orientation, then I accept that. The question is, do you act upon that orientation? So it's not the person, it's the person's actions..

Q: So if somebody is homosexual, should they not have sex?

A: We have sodomy laws and they were there for a purpose. Because, I would argue, they undermine the basic tenets of our society and the family. And if the Supreme Court says that you have the right to consensual sex within your home, then you have the right to bigamy, you have you have the right to incest, you have the right to adultery. You have the right to anything. Does that undermine the fabric of our society? I would argue yes, it does.

Source: Associated Press in USA Today: Santorum Interview , Apr 23, 2003

Voted YES on recommending Constitutional ban on flag desecration.

The Senate voted on a resolution which would recommend a Constitutional Amendment banning flag desecration (not a vote on the Amendment itself). The resolution states:
  1. the flag of the US is a unique symbol of national unity...
  2. the Bill of Rights should not be amended in a manner that could be interpreted to restrict freedom...
  3. abuse of the flag causes more than pain and distress... and may amount to fighting words...
  4. destruction of the flag of the US can be intended to incite a violent response rather than make a political statement and such conduct is outside the protections afforded by the first amendment to the Constitution.
Reference: Flag Desecration Amendment; Bill S.J.Res.12 ; vote number 2006-189 on Jun 27, 2006

Voted YES on constitutional ban of same-sex marriage.

Voting YES implies support for amending the constitution to ban same-sex marriage. This cloture motion to end debate requires a 3/5th majority. A constitutional amendment requires a 2/3rd majority. The proposed amendment is:
Marriage in the United States shall consist only of the union of a man and a woman. Neither this Constitution, nor the constitution of any State, shall be construed to require that marriage or the legal incidents thereof be conferred upon any union other than the union of a man and a woman.
Reference: Marriage Protection Amendment; Bill S. J. Res. 1 ; vote number 2006-163 on Jun 7, 2006

Voted NO on adding sexual orientation to definition of hate crimes.

Motion to Invoke Cloture on S. 625; Local Law Enforcement Enhancement Act of 2001. The bill would expand the definition of hate crimes to incorporate acts committed because of a victim's sex, sexual orientation or disability and permit the federal government to help states prosecute hate crimes even if no federally protected action was implicated. If the cloture motion is agreed to, debate will be limited and a vote will occur. If the cloture motion is rejected debate could continue indefinitely and instead the bill is usually set aside. Hence a Yes vote supports the expansion of the definition of hate crimes, and a No vote keeps the existing definition. Three-fifths of the Senate, or 60 members, is required to invoke cloture.
Reference: Bill S.625 ; vote number 2002-147 on Jun 11, 2002

Voted YES on loosening restrictions on cell phone wiretapping.

Motion to table (kill) the amendment that would provide that in order to conduct roving surveillance, the person implementing the order must ascertain that the target of the surveillance is present in the house or is using the phone that has been tapped.
Reference: Bill S1510 ; vote number 2001-300 on Oct 11, 2001

Voted NO on expanding hate crimes to include sexual orientation.

Vote on an amendment that would expand the definition of hate crimes to include gender, sexual orientation and disability. The previous definition included only racial, religious or ethnic bias.
Reference: Bill S.2549 ; vote number 2000-136 on Jun 20, 2000

Voted NO on setting aside 10% of highway funds for minorities & women.

Vote to table, or kill, an amendment to repeal the Disadvantaged Business Enterprise [DBE] Program, which requires no less than 10% of highway construction projects funded by the federal government to be contracted to 'disadvantaged business enterprises'
Reference: Bill S.1173 ; vote number 1998-23 on Mar 6, 1998

Voted NO on ending special funding for minority & women-owned business.

This legislation would have abolished a program that helps businesses owned by women or minorities compete for federally funded transportation.
Status: Cloture Motion Rejected Y)48; N)52
Reference: Motion to invoke cloture; Bill S.1173 ; vote number 1997-275 on Oct 23, 1997

Voted YES on prohibiting same-sex marriage.

The Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA): Vote to prohibit marriage between members of the same sex in federal law, and provide that no state is required to recognize same-sex marriages performed in other states. Define 'marriage' as 'between one man and one woman.'
Reference: Bill HR 3396 ; vote number 1996-280 on Sep 10, 1996

Voted NO on prohibiting job discrimination by sexual orientation.

Would have prohibited job discrimination based on sexual orientation.
Status: Bill Defeated Y)49; N)50; NV)1
Reference: Employment Non-Discrimination Act; Bill S. 2056 ; vote number 1996-281 on Sep 10, 1996

Voted YES on Amendment to prohibit flag burning.

Approval of a constitutional amendment which would prohibit desecration or burning of the U.S. flag.
Status: Joint Res. Defeated Y)63; N)36
Reference: Flag Desecration Bill; Bill S. J. Res. 31 ; vote number 1995-600 on Dec 12, 1995

Voted NO on banning affirmative action hiring with federal funds.

Vote to disallow any funds in the Legislative Appropriations bill from being used to award, require, or encourage any Federal contract, if the contract is being awarded on the basis of the race, color, national origin, or gender of the contractor.
Reference: Bill HR 1854 ; vote number 1995-317 on Jul 20, 1995

Supports anti-flag desecration amendment.

Santorum co-sponsored a Constitutional Amendment:

Supports granting Congress power to prohibit the physical desecration of the U.S. flag. Proposes an amendment to the Constitution of the United States authorizing the Congress to prohibit the physical desecration of the flag of the United States.

Source: House Resolution Sponsorship 01-HJR36 on Mar 13, 2001

Rated 25% by the ACLU, indicating an anti-civil rights voting record.

Santorum scores 25% by the ACLU on civil rights issues

We work also to extend rights to segments of our population that have traditionally been denied their rights, including Native Americans and other people of color; lesbians, gay men, bisexuals and transgendered people; women; mental-health patients; prisoners; people with disabilities; and the poor. If the rights of society’s most vulnerable members are denied, everybody’s rights are imperiled.

Our ratings are based on the votes the organization considered most important; the numbers reflect the percentage of time the representative voted the organization's preferred position.

Source: ACLU website 02n-ACLU on Dec 31, 2002

Issue a commemorative postage stamp of Rosa Parks.

Santorum co-sponsored issuing a commemorative postage stamp of Rosa Parks


LEGISLATIVE OUTCOME:Referred to Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs; never came to a vote.
Source: Rosa Parks Stamp (S.2154/H.R.4343) 05-S2154 on Dec 20, 2005

Other candidates on Civil Rights: Rick Santorum on other issues:
Pres.Barack Obama
V.P.Joe Biden
2016 Democratic Candidates:
Gov.Lincoln Chafee(RI)
Secy.Hillary Clinton(NY)
Gov.Martin O`Malley(MD)
Sen.Bernie Sanders(VT)
Sen.Jim Webb(VA)
2016 Third Party Candidates:
Roseanne Barr(PF-HI)
Mayor Mike Bloomberg(I-NYC)
Dr.Jill Stein(G-MA)
Gov.Gary Johnson(L-NM)
Robert Steele(L-NY)
2016 GOP Candidates:
Gov.Jeb Bush(FL)
Dr.Ben Carson(MD)
Gov.Chris Christie(NJ)
Sen.Ted Cruz(TX)
Carly Fiorina(CA)
Gov.Jim Gilmore(VA)
Sen.Lindsey Graham(SC)
Gov.Mike Huckabee(AR)
Gov.Bobby Jindal(LA)
Gov.John Kasich(OH)
Gov.Sarah Palin(AK)
Gov.George Pataki(NY)
Sen.Rand Paul(KY)
Gov.Rick Perry(TX)
Sen.Marco Rubio(FL)
Sen.Rick Santorum(PA)
Donald Trump(NY)
Gov.Scott Walker(WI)
Civil Rights
Foreign Policy
Free Trade
Govt. Reform
Gun Control
Health Care
Homeland Security
Social Security
Tax Reform

About Rick Santorum:
AmericansElect quiz
MyOcracy quiz

Page last updated: Mar 24, 2016