One of the most prominent names in the republican side of the government gave an Easter surprise to gays and lesbians across the United States last Sunday
The former senator from Pennsylvania, Rick Santorum, uttered a homophobic term while defending the controversial religious law that was recently uphold in Indiana. This is the same law that some believe empowers businesses to refuse to render service to gays and lesbians.
Experts suggest that the law is “designed” in order to safeguard and preserve the religious views of the business owners from Indiana. Unfortunately, this did not sit well with the Gay community as Gay activists argued he law will open the door for discrimination, which will not only affect them, but lesbians and the transgender as well.
With a not so warm reception it received from the American people, the law was amended to include terms that give “minimal” protection based on sexual orientation.
During his appearance on CBS News’ Face The Nation, Santorum, The former presidential candidate who ran for the highest position in the state in 2012 and is known for having plans of running this coming election, showed his full support for the original bill without the changes, calling discrimination a “two-way street”.
He further added to the controversy by directing the flow of the discussion around the issue of executive overreach, which many consider as a familiar refrain for conservatives. The senator also went as far as asking questions whether such law would be equally reasonable if the government required a gay business to print signs saying, “God hates fags” for a client like the Westboro Baptist Church.
That Kansas-based church is openly homophobic, claiming US casualties in Iraq and Afghanistan are God’s punishment for US laws that protect gays and lesbians.
One of the usual targets for supporters of gay and lesbian rights, Santorum unquestionably knew the free speech buttons he was pushing by using a homophobic slur, however activists were also quick to point out his comparison is misleading.
Stuart Gaffney, from Marriage Equality USA, told DC Dispatches that, “Santorum is confusing this [debate] by asking whether a business should have to print hate speech,” he added, “No law requires businesses to provide that service”.
Last week, Gaffney pointed to a ruling in which a Colorado state agency found in favor of a bakery that reportedly refused to decorate two cakes from a customer with Bible verses rejecting same-sex marriage.