February 14, 2012 | by Chris Johnson
Santorum: Bill signing not ‘final word’ on Wash. marriage

Republican presidential candidate Rick Santorum said the signing of legislation in Washington state legalizing same-sex marriage isn’t “the final word” at a campaign rally in the state Monday night, according to the Associated Press.

The anti-gay candidate spoke before hundreds of supporters at the Washington State History Museum in Olympia, Wash., seeking to block the enactment of marriage equality in Washington State, which was signed into law on the same day by Gov. Chris Gregoire (D).

“There are ebbs and flows in every battle, and this is not the final word,” Santorum reportedly said.

Although Gregoire signed the marriage bill on Monday, anti-gay forces have the opportunity to bring the measure to the ballot if they collect 120,577 petition signatures and deliver them to state officials before the June 6 deadline.

A video of the event posted online shows Santorum denouncing before the legalization of same-sex marriage in Washington — saying the bill signing marks “a sad day” — as well as the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals decision last week to overturn California’s same-sex marriage ban.

“It is very important you understand what just happened in another place,” Santorum said. “The Ninth Circuit decided that anybody that disagrees with any of these folks, anyone who disagrees with these folks when it comes to the issue if what marriage is in this country, well they are irrational. That’s what the Ninth Circuit said.”

Joe Solmonese, president of the Human Rights Campaign, blasted Santorum in a statement for coming to Washington bearing an anti-gay message.

“Rick Santorum’s sideshow is purely a political maneuver designed to draw attention to a campaign that is dramatically out of step with the values of mainstream Americans,” Solmonese said.

As Santorum made his remarks, he was heckled by protesters affiliated with the Occupy Tacoma movement, who repeatedly shouted, “We are the 99 percent.” Before Santorum could complete his comments on the Ninth Circuit, a scuffle broke out in the crowd and the police intervened. Others at the rally countered the protesters by shouting, “USA! USA!”

Santorum called the protesters a “radical element” and said they represent “true intolerance.” Still, he added he respects their right to have a different point of a view and doesn’t think they’re bigoted because they disagree.

Still, the candidate took a dig at them saying “instead of standing here unemployed, yelling at somebody” they should “go out out there and try to work for a living.”

Protesters afterward told KIRO 7 TV they were there to protest corporate corruption. According to the news affiliate, two men were arrested as well as a woman for throwing glitter at Santorum. According to KIRO 7 TV, the three could be charged with disorderly conduct or even assault.

Earlier in the day, Santorum reportedly held a private meeting with religious leaders at an Olympia church and met with political leaders in the state legislative building. The candidate reportedly said he told individuals at these meetings “to continue the fight” against same-sex marriage.

Santorum backs an amendment to the U.S. Constitution that would not only prohibit any more same-sex marriages from taking place, but nullify all of those in existence.

The candidate comes to Washington State a few weeks before the state’s Republican presidential caucuses on March 3. They’ll take place three days before Super Tuesday, when Republican voters 10 states in states will decide on their party’s nominee. Washington will award 43 delegates to the Republican National Convention, though they will not be allocated on caucus night.

Polls are showing that Santorum is now the front-runner is the Republican presidential race. Findings published Saturday by Public Policy Polling found Santorum has a wide lead ahead of other GOP contenders. The candidate polled at 38 percent, while Mitt Romney was at 23 percent, Newt Gingrich at 17 percent and Ron Paul at 13 percent.

Santorum is also doing well in the polls in the Michigan, the next state in the GOP primary to hold a major caucus. Even though Romney has the home-state advantage in the Wolverine State, Santorum is leading with 39 percent of support among Michigan Republicans, according to a PPP poll published Monday.

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

2 Comments
  • Santorum is doing quite well amongst like-minded bigots. He doesn’t flip-flop on his bigotry and his fellow neo-cons respond very well to that. They are desperate to find a candidate willing to re-affirm and approve without hesitation their bigotry.

  • Hateful Rick Santorum is everything Dan Savage said of him “a frothy mix of lube and fecal matter…” A real asshole!

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