Connect with us

National

RNC 2012: Santorum calls for end to ‘assault on marriage’

Anti-gay Republican says Obama’s policies ‘undermine the traditional family’

Published

on

Former U.S. Sen. Rick Santorum speaks at the Republican National Convention (Blade photo by Michael Key)

TAMPA, Fla. — Speakers at the Republican National Convention on Tuesday hammered President Obama for what they said were failed economic policies while largely staying away from social or LGBT issues — although marriage was a cornerstone in the high-profile speech by former U.S. Sen. Rick Santorum.

The former Republican presidential candidate talked about running for the White House and shaking hands with people from many walks of life as he criticized Obama — even misrepresenting the president by saying he was “waiving the work requirement for welfare.”

Santorum devoted a significant portion of his speech to what he said was the decline of the institution of marriage.

“The fact is that marriage is disappearing in places where government dependency is highest,” Santorum said. “Most single mothers do heroic work and an amazing job raising their children, but if America is going to succeed, we must stop the assault on marriage and the family.”

Santorum never explicitly mentioned same-sex marriage during his speech, although the Republican has a history of vocal opposition to LGBT rights. Still, the former senator said President Obama, who in May endorsed marriage equality, has enacted policies that “undermine the traditional family.”

Additionally, Santorum criticized the Obama administration for immigration policy, saying “with his refusal to enforce our immigration laws, President Obama rules like he is above the law.” The criticism could be a reference to many actions the administration has taken — including providing certain young, undocumented immigrants with deferred action on deportation — but also could be a reference to the Department of Homeland Security’s decision to consider undocumented immigrants a low priority for removal if they’re in a same-sex marriage.

Jerame Davis, executive director of the National Stonewall Democrats, said Santorum’s remarks on marriage shouldn’t be a surprise given that delegates at the convention earlier in the day approved a party platform including anti-gay language.

“Earlier today, delegates at the Republican convention enthusiastically voted in favor of the most anti-LGBT platform ever adopted by a political party,” Davis said. “It was a low point for the party and our country. It came as no surprise, then, to hear Rick Santorum lecturing delegates and the American people on ‘traditional families’ during the primetime speeches tonight.”

No other speakers at the convention on Tuesday made marriage or social issues as great a part of their speeches as Santorum, but others did touch on marriage.

Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell, who chaired the Republican Party platform committee, touted the marriage language in the manifesto — which endorses a U.S. constitutional amendment banning same-sex marriage throughout the country — in addition to backing to other conservative policies like making abortion illegal.

“This platform affirms the traditional meaning of marriage and the sanctity of human life, defends religious freedom and Second Amendment rights and calls for a balanced budget amendment,” McDonnell said.

Speeches took place throughout the day at the convention as delegates took care of procedures needed for the Republican Party position itself for the 2012 presidential election.

Delegates at the convention officially threw their support behind Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney, making him officially the party’s nominee in the race for the White House, in addition to giving final approval to the 2012 Republican Party platform. During the roll call of the states and jurisdictions who sent delegates to the convention, Romney received the backing of the 2,061 delegates, well over the 1,144-delegate threshold needed for him to claim the nomination.

But Romney was unable to secure all the delegates at the convention. More than 100 delegates pledged to libertarian Rep. Ron Paul (R-Texas) wouldn’t give up backing of their candidate. A handful of delegates also went to Santorum, who gave Romney the greatest challenge for the Republican nomination during the presidential primary.

The woman reading the delegate contributions from the states would only say the number allocated to Romney without recognizing other candidates, much to the consternation of Paul supporters, who heckled her for not recognizing him. According to media reports, Paul was present on the floor when the roll call was being recorded as supporters shouted “Let him speak!”

A number of other high-profile speeches took place on Tuesday, including remarks from Republican governors as well as U.S. Senate and congressional candidates.

The most well-received speech likely came from Romney’s wife, Ann Romney, who delivered personal remarks about starting a family together with the Republican presidential nominee at an early age and his experience starting Bain Capital, running the Winter Olympics in Salt Lake City and serving as governor of Massachusetts.

“But because this is America, that small company which grew has helped so many others lead better lives,” Ann Romney said. “The jobs that grew from the risks they took have become college educations, first homes. That success has helped fund scholarships, pensions and retirement funds. This is the genius of America: dreams fulfilled help others launch new dreams.”

New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie gave the keynote address at the Republican National Convention (Blade photo by Michael Key)

Delivering the keynote address for the Republican National Convention was New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, who was widely considered a possibility as Romney’s running mate before the selection of Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wis.). Christie vetoed same-sex marriage legislation earlier this year.

In his speech, Christie talked about enacting fiscally conservative policies in a “blue” state that he said will result in New Jersey saving $132 billion in taxpayer dollars over the next 30 years — a bipartisan effort that the governor said could be duplicated in the White House and Congress.

“The disciples of yesterday’s politics underestimated the will of the people,” Christie said. “They assumed our people were selfish; that when told of the difficult problems, tough choices and complicated solutions, they would simply turn their backs, that they would decide it was every man for himself. Instead, the people of New Jersey stepped up and shared in the sacrifice.”

Continue Reading
Advertisement
1 Comment

1 Comment

  1. Indigo

    August 30, 2012 at 2:06 pm

    “I don’t believe in marriage but I do believe in divorce.” I feel if you want to get married you should have the right to do so no matter who you are and what you believe. I have not seen the convention because I’m usually tired once I get home from working at Dish, but decided to record it on my Hopper. Recording it doesn’t take up space on my hard drive, and with the Auto hop feature I can skip the commercials. I understand that the RNC is mainly about Romney/Ryan, but respect should be given to those like Ron Paul who worked hard and should be recognized for his efforts.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

National

Louisiana lawmakers fail to overturn Edwards veto of Trans sports bill

Edwards further said that the bill was “mean” because it targets “the most emotionally fragile children in the state of Louisiana.”

Published

on

Louisiana Democratic Governor John Bel Edwards (Photo Credit: Official state portrait)

BATON ROUGE – Louisiana lawmakers failed to override Gov. John Bel Edwards’ (D) veto last month of a bill that would have barred trans girls and women from participating on athletic teams or in sporting events designated for girls or women at elementary, secondary and postsecondary schools.

The measure, Senate Bill 156 authored by Sen. Beth Mizell titled the ‘the Fairness in Women’s Sports Act,’ in the Governor’s eyes, “was a solution in search of a problem that simply does not exist in Louisiana,” Edwards said in his veto statement;

“As I have said repeatedly when asked about this bill, discrimination is not a Louisiana value, and this bill was a solution in search of a problem that simply does not exist in Louisiana. Even the author of the bill acknowledged throughout the legislative session that there wasn’t a single case where this was an issue. 

The Republican majority state House chamber failed to override the Governor’s veto after voting 68-30 to override it, according to the state legislature’s website.

The vote narrowly missed the 70-vote threshold needed in the lower chamber to override the veto.

Two-thirds of both the House and Senate must vote to override a governor’s veto, according to the local Baton Rouge newspaper The Advocate.

The Governor reacted to the news that his veto withstood Republican efforts to overturn it in a press conference Wednesday.

Edwards noted that in his view he had “rejected a play” that had no place in Louisiana. 

“I would rather the headlines going out from today be that Louisiana did what was right and best. We rejected a play out of a national playbook that just had no place in Louisiana. That bill wasn’t crafted for our state, I mean go read it and look at the arguments that were made. None of that applies here,” Edwards said.

He further said that the bill was “mean” because it targets “the most emotionally fragile children in the state of Louisiana.” 

“We have to be better than that,” Edwards said. “We have to be better than that.” 

 

Continue Reading

National

Federal court blocks West Virginia Law banning Trans youth sports

“It hurt that the State of West Virginia would try to block me from pursuing my dreams. I just want to play.”

Published

on

Becky Pepper-Jackson (Photo credit: ACLU/Raymond Thompson)


CHARLESTON, W.Va. — A judge of the United States District Court, Southern District of West Virginia ruled Wednesday that 11-year-old Becky Pepper-Jackson must be allowed to try out for the girls’ cross-country and track teams at her school, blocking West Virginia from enforcing a law that bans transgender girls and women from participating in school sports. 

The ruling came in the lawsuit challenging the ban filed by Lambda Legal, the American Civil Liberties Union, the ACLU of West Virginia, and Cooley LLP.

“I am excited to know that I will be able to try out for the girls’ cross-country team and follow in the running shoes of my family,” said Becky Pepper-Jackson, the plaintiff in the lawsuit. “It hurt that the State of West Virginia would try to block me from pursuing my dreams. I just want to play.”

West Virginia Gov. Jim Justice signed H.B. 3293 into law at the end of April. It was one of hundreds of anti-LGBTQ bills pushed in state legislatures across the country in 2021. During legislative debate, it was not endorsed by any mainstream sporting or health organizations. A similar law in Idaho was blocked by a federal court in 2020, and a federal court in Connecticut recently dismissed a challenge to policies that allow all girls, including girls who are transgender, to participate on girls’ sports teams. Legal challenges are underway against similar laws passed in other states.

The Supreme Court recently refused to disturb Gavin Grimm’s victory at the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit, where he prevailed in challenging his school’s anti-transgender discrimination against him. This decision — which is binding precedent in West Virginia federal court — said that federal law protects transgender students from discrimination in schools.

“This is great news for Becky, and while our work is not done yet, today’s ruling jibes with similar rulings in other courts across the country,” said Avatara Smith-Carrington, Tyron Garner Memorial Law Fellow, Lambda Legal. “It is our hope that courts recognize and address discrimination when they see it, and nowhere is it more visible than in these stark attacks against trans youth.”

“Becky — like all students — should have the opportunity to try out for a sports team and play with her peers,” said Josh Block, senior staff attorney with the ACLU LGBTQ & HIV Project. “We hope this also sends a message to other states to stop demonizing trans kids to score political points and to let these kids live their lives in peace.” 

“We’ve said all along this cruel legislation would not survive a legal challenge, and we’re encouraged by the court’s decision today,” said ACLU-WV Legal Director Loree Stark. “We hope trans kids throughout West Virginia who felt attacked and wronged by the passage of this legislation are feeling empowered by today’s news.”

“We are extremely gratified — for Becky, and for all trans youth — at the court’s recognition that the law and the facts clearly support treating people who are transgender fairly and equally. Discrimination has no place in schools or anywhere else,” said Kathleen Hartnett of Cooley LLP.

Continue Reading

National

Conservative groups attack proposed Alabama capital city’s LGBTQ law

Allege law requires Christians to violate their religious beliefs

Published

on

Alabama State Capitol, HIV, gay news, Washington Blade
Alabama State Capitol (Blade file photo by Michael Key)

MONTGOMERY – The Alabama capital’s City Council is being urged to reject a proposed ordinance that would make sexual orientation and gender identity protected classes under the law.  Matthew Clark, the Executive Director of the conservative Alabama Center for Law and Liberty sent a letter on behalf of his group and six allied organizations asking the Council to abandon a vote implementing the ordnance.

According to the letter, the groups allege that the law would require Christians to violate their religious beliefs or face fines under certain circumstances. Prominent among the other signatures is Mathew D. Staver, Chairman of Liberty Counsel which the Southern Poverty Law Center lists as an extremist anti-LGBTQ hate group.

The SPLC, which has its headquarters in Montgomery, writes; “The Liberty Counsel has also been active in the battle against same-sex marriage and hate crimes legislation, which it claimed in a 2007 news release to be “’thought crimes’ laws that violate the right to freedom of speech and of conscience” and will “have a chilling effect on people who have moral or religious objections to homosexual behavior.” In that same release, the Liberty Counsel falsely claimed that the brutal murder of Matthew Shepard in Laramie, Wyo., had nothing to do with homosexuality, but instead was “a bungled robbery.”

In the letter Clark noted; ““As we read the ordinance, churches could be fined if they refuse to allow transgender people to use the bathroom of their choice, and they might be fined if they refused to let same-sex couples use their facilities for weddings,” Clark said. “They could also be fined if they declined to hire non-ministerial personnel, such as facility managers or secretaries, whose sexual orientation or gender identity contradicts the tenants of the church’s faith.”

“Christian schools, small business owners, and homeowners are also in the crosshairs. Schools could face liability if they decline to let transgender students use the locker rooms of their choice,” Clark said. “Small business owners like Jack Phillips [referring to Masterpiece Cakeshop v. Colorado Civil Rights Commission] could face liability. And homeowners who list their homes on Airbnb could be fined if they declined to let a same-sex couple engage in sexual activities in their home that violate the tenants of their faith.”

Clark then warned the City Council that if it passes the ordinance, litigation could result and the City would likely lose.

The Montgomery Advertiser reported last month that City Mayor Steven Reed said a council vote in favor of the LGTBQ nondiscrimination ordinance that’s now being drafted in Montgomery would send a message. 

“There are signals that communities can send, and this is an important signal not only to those residents that live here right now but people all over the country that have maybe one idea of Alabama and Montgomery, and we want to show them that there’s a different reality here,” he said. 

Reed and his team have been working with the Human Rights Campaign and other advocacy groups to draft an ordinance that would expand protections for LGBTQ residents in the state’s capital city. The proposed measure, which would specifically target discrimination in government, employment and housing based on sexual orientation or gender identity the Advertiser reported.

Continue Reading
Advertisement
Advertisement

Follow Us @washblade

Sign Up for Blade eBlasts

Popular