Santorum Joins NOM's March for (Straight) Marriage

NOM continues its march against the rising tide of marriage equality, with Rick Santorum joining a June event.

BY Trudy Ring

June 09 2014 4:15 PM ET

Santorum

While yet another antigay activist has declared nationwide marriage equality inevitable, the National Organization for Marriage is proceeding with plans for its March for Marriage on June 19, and just added a prominent anti-equality politician to the roster of speakers.

Rick Santorum, the former U.S. senator from Pennsylvania and failed Republican presidential aspirant, will address the event in Washington, D.C., NOM president Brian Brown announced on the group’s blog over the weekend. Brown describes Santorum as a “stalwart marriage, family, and life champion.”

Actually, Santorum has been a stalwart opponent of LGBT equality for years. Back in 2003, as the nation awaited a Supreme Court ruling on sodomy laws, Santorum famously predicted that striking down such laws would lead to legalization of polygamy and incest. In 2011, during his most recent presidential bid, he used a variety of bizarre metaphors to justify his opposition to marriage equality, such as “Calling same-sex marriage a marriage would be like calling a cup of tea a basketball.”

Other speakers scheduled for the NOM event include former Arkansas governor Mike Huckabee; San Francisco Catholic archbishop Salvatore Cordileone, New York State Senator Rev. Ruben Diaz, and Heritage Foundation staffers Jennifer Marshall and Ryan T. Anderson. “The lineup of prominent national speakers, including Senator Santorum, who are committed to working with us to preserve marriage as the union of one man and one woman stands in stark contrast to the transparent attempts of many in the mainstream media to convince Americans that the debate about marriage is all but over,” writes Brown.

Judging by the serial losses NOM has suffered in the past month in the courts and elsewhere, it isn't just "the mainstream media" which has grown tired of NOM's antigay activism. Last month NOM made an unsuccessful last-minute attempt to intervene in defense of Oregon's anti–marriage equality law — a request that was denied by the judge who ultimately struck down the state's antigay constitutional amendment — then begged the U.S. Supreme Court to halt same-sex marriage in Oregon, which the highest court rejected flat-out in a single sentence. Late last month, an electoral ethics commission in Maine handed down a record fine for the antigay group's refusal to register as a political action committee and disclose its donors. Just last week, a federal judge threw out NOM's claims of persecution and conspiracy against the Internal Revenue Service, writing that "NOM has produced no evidence from which a reasonable juror could conclude" that the IRS official who provided information about NOM's funding to a political activist did so out of malice aimed at the group. 

Meanwhile, Jennifer Roback Morse, founder and president of the Ruth Institute, a spin-off of NOM, has joined such social conservatives as NOM cofounder Maggie Gallagher and Republican senator Orrin Hatch of Utah in acknowledging that the debate is pretty much over. In an interview last week on the Christian radio show Issues, Etc., Morse acknowledged that same-sex marriage is on the way to becoming legal throughout the U.S., but she said, “It’s not just happening spontaneously.” Instead, she claimed, “the rich and powerful of both parties” are forcing it on the nation. She also claimed that these “elites” are overriding the will of the people who voted in anti–marriage equality laws in many states, ignoring the fact that polls indicate a majority of Americans now support marriage equality. Listen to the full segment here. 

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