January 3, 2012 | by Chris Johnson
DNC chair: Santorum attacks on same-sex marriage ‘un-American’

DES MOINES, Iowa — The chair of the Democratic National Committee on Tuesday said a pledge by GOP presidential candidate Rick Santorum to invalidate same-sex marriages via federal marriage amendment was “un-American.”

DNC Chair Debbie Wasserman Schultz, a U.S. House member from Florida, made the comments to the Washington Blade during an interview at the Des Moines Convention Center on the day of the Iowa Republican presidential candidate caucus.

“That would be un-American, undemocratic and entirely inappropriate and unacceptable,” Wasserman Schultz said.

Over the weekend, Santorum was asked by NBC News’ Chuck Todd about what should happen with existing same-sex marriages if a U.S. constitutional amendment passed banning marriage equality. Santorum, who backs such an amendment, said in his view such marriages “would be invalid.”

MORE IN THE BLADE: ROMNEY EDGES SANTORUM IN IOWA CAUCUSES

Wasserman Schultz deferred to the platform committee when asked whether the Democratic Party would endorse same-sex marriage as part of its platform. She noted  that she personally supports same-sex marriage.

“Our platform is developed by our members and by grassroots activists, so they’ll have an opportunity to weigh in on what should be a part of it,” she said. “I represent as a member of Congress one of the largest, most vibrant, gay communities in the entire country. I’m a supporter of same-sex marriage and believe that we need to make sure that we stand up for equality for everyone.”

The platform document will be written and made public at the Democratic National Convention in Charlotte, N.C., in September.

Washington Blade: Getting back onto Rick Santorum, he’s supporting a Federal Marriage Amendment that would invalidate all same-sex marriages throughout the country, including those here in Iowa. What is your reaction to that?

Debbie Wasserman Schultz: That would be un-American, undemocratic and entirely inappropriate and unacceptable.

Blade: If you had a message for gay Americans watching the Iowa caucus results, what would you tell them?

Wasserman Schultz: Well, Iowa has been a forerunner when it comes to the civil rights of Americans. So many of the civil rights advances, including same-sex marriage have begun in Iowa. And that’s not partisan. It runs the entire philosophical spectrum, and I think Iowans will continue to uphold the liberty that all Americans believe in, for all Americans.

Blade: One thing that a lot of LGBT Americans want to see in the Democratic Party platform next year is an endorsement of same-sex marriage. I know the platform committee is going to work on that, but are you able to make a prediction now as to whether we’ll see that in there?

Wasserman Schultz: Our platform is developed by our members and by grassroots activists, so they’ll have an opportunity to weigh in on what should be a part of it. I represent as a member of Congress one of the largest, most vibrant, gay communities in the entire country. I’m a supporter of same-sex marriage and believe that we need to make sure that we stand up for equality for everyone.

Watch the video of the interview here:

Chris Johnson is Chief Political & White House Reporter for the Washington Blade. Johnson attends the daily White House press briefings and is a member of the White House Correspondents' Association. Follow Chris

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