Santorum argues with PFLAG

BY Advocate.com Editors

May 02 2003 11:00 PM ET

Several parents of gay children had a heated private exchange May 1 with Sen. Rick Santorum (R-Pa.), whose recent comments in an Associated Press interview deriding gays and lesbians have engendered a storm of controversy. Apparently the meeting didn't go well, and Santorum left in a hurry, tripping over a chair.

"What we tried to do in this meeting was reach him on a human level, and we found no humanity there," Melina Waldo, a former Santorum constituent, told The New York Times, adding that Santorum was "condescending, belligerent, argumentative, and arrogant." Waldo and the other parents are members of Parents, Families, and Friends of Lesbians and Gays, an advocacy group that until now has not spoken publicly regarding Santorum's comments but is in Washington, D.C., to lobby lawmakers on such issues as hate crimes and safe schools for gay youth. A Santorum spokeswoman described the meeting as "a very professional and polite exchange."

Santorum has been under fire since his April 7 AP interview, in which he compared homosexuality to bigamy, adultery, and incest. The remarks prompted widespread criticism and calls by gay rights groups and Democratic lawmakers for Santorum to resign his leadership post as the third-ranking Republican senator. But other Republican leaders in the U.S. House and Senate have come to his defense.

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