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

Activists demand ICE release transgender, HIV-positive detainees

Protest took place outside agency’s D.C. headquarters on Wednesday

Published

on

Jessycka Ckatallea Letona, an indigenous transgender woman from Guatemala who spent nearly two years in U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement custody, participated in a protest in front of ICE's headquarters in Southwest D.C. on Oct. 27, 2021. (Washington Blade photo by Michael K. Lavers)

Jessycka Ckatallea Letona is an indigenous transgender woman from Guatemala who fled persecution in her homeland because of her gender identity.

She asked for asylum in the U.S. in 2016 when she entered the country in Eagle Pass, Texas.

Ckatallea on Wednesday told the Washington Blade that U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement officials placed her in a pod with 70 men at a privately-run detention center in Florence, Ariz. She also said personnel at another ICE detention center in Santa Ana, Calif., ridiculed her because of her gender identity and forced her to strip naked before she attended hearings in her asylum case.

Ckatallea spent a year and eight months in ICE custody before her release. She won her asylum case and now lives in the San Francisco Bay Area.

“It was a very traumatic experience,” said Ckatallea as she spoke with the Blade in front of ICE’s headquarters in Southwest D.C. “I came to a country thinking that it would take care of me, that it would protect me because of my gender identity.”

Ckatallea is one of the more than a dozen immigrant rights activists who participated in a protest in front of ICE’s headquarters that Familia: Trans Queer Liberation Movement, Immigration Equality and the End Trans Detention campaign organized. Ckatallea, Immigration Equality Executive Director Aaron Morris and other protest participants demanded ICE immediately release trans people and people with HIV/AIDS from their custody.

The groups placed on the sidewalk in front of the building a Day of the Dead “ofrenda” to honor three trans women—Victoria Orellano, Roxsana Hernández and Johana “Joa” Medina León—who died in ICE custody or immediately after their release. The “ofrenda” also paid tribute to Pablo Sánchez Gotopo, a Venezuelan man with AIDS who died in ICE custody on Oct. 1.

Immigrant rights activists on Oct. 27, 2021, placed a Day of the Dead “ofrenda” outside U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement headquarters in Southwest D.C. that honored three transgender women and a man with AIDS who died while in ICE custody or immediately upon their release. (Washington Blade photo by Michael K. Lavers)

Ckatallea, Morris and the other protesters approached the building’s entrance and presented security personnel with a petition that calls upon President Biden and Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas to “immediately release all transgender people, people living with HIV, and people with medical conditions from ICE custody.”

ICE has repeatedly defended its treatment of trans people and people with HIV/AIDS who are in their custody.

The Blade in July 2020 interviewed a person with HIV who was in ICE custody at the Adams County Detention Center, the same privately-run facility in which Gotopo was held until his hospitalization. The person with whom the Blade spoke described conditions inside the detention center as “not safe” because personnel were not doing enough to protect them and other detainees from COVID-19.

Congressman Mike Quigley (D-Ill.) is among the dozens of lawmakers who have called for the release of all trans people and people with HIV/AIDS from ICE custody. The Illinois Democrat on Tuesday reiterated this call during a virtual briefing that Familia: Trans Queer Liberation Movement, Immigration Equality and the End Trans Detention Campaign organized.

“ICE’s clear inability to do better leads me to seek to end of ICE’s detention of all trans migrants,” said Quigley. “During both the Trump and Biden administration I led dozens of my colleagues to demand that ICE release transgender detainees and end its practice of holding trans migrants in custody. We had hoped that things would change with the new administration, so far I’m disappointed.”

Congresswoman Pramila Jayapal (D-Wash.) also participated in the briefing alongside Immigration Equality Legal Director Bridget Crawford and Sharita Gruberg of the Center for American Progress and others.

Continue Reading

Texas

Texas GOP Governor Greg Abbott signs anti-Trans youth sports bill

“Despite the powerful testimony of trans kids & adults- the emails to the Governor to veto this harmful piece of legislation it is now law”

Published

on

Texas Republican Governor Greg Abbott (Blade file screenshot)

AUSTIN – Texas Republican Gov. Greg Abbott signed into law Monday H.B. 25, an anti-Transgender youth sports bill banning Trans K-12 student-athletes from playing on sports teams consistent with their gender identity. 

H.B. 25 is the 9th statewide bill signed into law this year banning transgender youth from participating in school sports and the 10th in the country. This bill also comes during a year when Texas lawmakers have proposed nearly 70 anti-LGBTQ bills, including more than 40 bills that specifically target transgender and nonbinary youth — far more than any other state.

“We are devastated at the passage of this bill. Despite the powerful testimony of trans kids and adults, families and advocates, and the many emails and calls our community placed to the Governor’s office to veto this harmful piece of legislation it is now law,” Ricardo Martinez, CEO of Equality Texas, said.

“Most immediately, our focus is our community and integrating concepts of healing justice to provide advocates who have already been harmed by this bill with spaces to refill their cup and unpack the acute trauma caused by these legislative sessions. Our organizations will also begin to shift focus to electing pro-equality lawmakers who understand our issues and prioritize representing the vast majority of Texans who firmly believe that discrimination against trans and LGB+ people is wrong,” he added.

Earlier this month, the Texas state government was criticized for removing web pages with resources for LGBTQ youth, including information about The Trevor Project’s crisis services. The Trevor Project the world’s largest suicide prevention and crisis intervention organization for LGBTQ+ young people.

“Transgender and nonbinary youth are already at higher risk for poor mental health and suicide because of bullying, discrimination, and rejection. This misguided legislation will only make matters worse,” Amit Paley, CEO and Executive Director of The Trevor Project said in a statement released Monday afternoon.

To every trans Texan who may be feeling hurt and attacked by this legislation and months of ugly political debate — please know that you are valid, and you are deserving of equal opportunity, dignity and respect. The Trevor Project is here for you 24/7 if you ever need support, and we will continue fighting alongside a broad coalition of advocates to challenge this law,” Paley said.

********************

Additional resources:

Research consistently demonstrates that transgender and nonbinary youth face unique mental health challenges and an elevated risk for bullying and suicide risk compared to their peers.  

  • The Trevor Project’s 2021 National Survey on LGBTQ Youth Mental Health found that more than half (52%) of transgender and nonbinary youth seriously considered suicide in the past year, and 1 in 5 attempted suicide. 94% of LGBTQ youth reported that recent politics negatively impacted their mental health. 
  • A newly published research brief on “Bullying and Suicide Risk among LGBTQ Youth,” found that 61% of transgender and nonbinary (TGNB) students reported being bullied either in-person or electronically in the past year, compared to 45% of cisgender LGBQ students. TGNB students who were bullied in the past year reported more than twice the rate of attempting suicide in the past year compared to those who were not. And TGNB students who said their school was LGBTQ-affirming reported significantly lower rates of being bullied (55%) compared to those in schools that weren’t LGBTQ-affirming (65%).
  • A 2020 peer-reviewed study found that transgender and nonbinary youth who report experiencing discrimination based on their gender identity had more than double the odds of attempting suicide in the past year compared to those who did not experience discrimination based on their gender identity.
  • Trevor’s research has also found that a majority of LGBTQ young people (68%) had never participated in sports for a school or community league or club — with many citing fear of bullying and discrimination as a key factor for not participating.

If you or someone you know needs help or support, The Trevor Project’s trained crisis counselors are available 24/7 at 1-866-488-7386, via chat at TheTrevorProject.org/Help, or by texting START to 678678.

Continue Reading

National

Ohio high school cancels play with Gay character after Pastor complains

The School’s fall production of “She Kills Monsters” was scheduled to open in less than one month until the play was canceled

Published

on

Hillsboro High School (Screenshot via Cincinnati ABC affiliate WCPO-TV)

HILLSBORO, Oh. — A Southwest Ohio high school’s play was abruptly canceled after Jeff Lyle, a local pastor from Good News Gathering, complained of a gay character. 

Hillsboro High School’s fall production of “She Kills Monsters” was scheduled to open in less than one month, until students learned the play would be canceled last week, reports Cincinnati’s ABC affiliate WCPO

The story follows a high school senior as she learns about her late sister’s life. It is implied throughout the play that her sister is gay, according to the news station.

The play’s cancellation comes a week after Lyle, a long-time voice of the anti-LGBTQ+ religious-right in Ohio, and a group of parents confronted the production’s directors at a meeting, according to Cincinnati CBS affiliate Local 12. Lyle denies pressuring school officials, but tells WCPO he supports the decision.

“From a Biblical worldview this play is inappropriate for a number of reasons, e.g. sexual innuendo, implied sexual activity between unmarried persons, repeated use of foul language including taking the Lord’s name in vain,” Lyle said. 

Some families say they believe Lyle did influence the school’s decision. 

“I think that’s wrong,” Jon Polstra, a father of one of the actors, told WCPO. “All they would have had to do if they objected to something in the play was not go to the play.”

In a statement to Local 12, Hillsboro City Schools Superintendent Tim Davis said the play was canceled because it “was not appropriate for our K-12 audience.”

The Lexington Herald Leader reports that the school planned to perform a version intended for audiences as young as 11 years old. 

Students were “devastated” and “blindsided” by the news, according to WCPO. 

“It felt like we had just been told, ‘Screw off and your lives don’t matter,'” Christopher Cronan, a Hillsboro High student, said. “I am openly bisexual in that school and I have faced a lot of homophobia there, but I never expected them to cancel a play for a fictional character.”

Cronan’s father, Ryan, also voiced his frustration. 

“They want to say the town is just not ready, but how are you not ready? It’s 2021,” Ryan Cronan said.

Students have started a GoFundMe in hopes of putting on the production at a community theater in 2022.

“If we do raise enough money, I am going to be genuinely happy for a very long time, because that means people do care,” Cronan told WCPO.

Continue Reading
Advertisement
Advertisement

Follow Us @washblade

Sign Up for Blade eBlasts

Popular