Santorum's Gay Sex Problem

By Advocate.com Editors

Originally published on Advocate.com February 16 2011 4:40 PM ET

Antigay former U.S. senator Rick Santorum, a potential 2012 Republican presidential candidate, has found that the use of his name in connection with anal sex is a hyperlink that’s hard to break, Roll Call reports.

In 2003 sex-advice columnist Dan Savage was seeking to mock Santorum for his homophobic statements, such as remarks he made in an interview that year to the effect that legalization of gay sex could lead to recognition of “man on child” and “man on dog” relationships. Savage held a competition asking his readers to come up with a new definition for “Santorum,” and the winning entry referred to a by-product of anal intercourse. Now a Google search for “Santorum” will frequently turn up that meaning of the word.

Roll Call consulted technology experts, who said there was little Santorum could do to prevent Web searches from finding sites with that definition. The politician himself “sounded slightly defeated” when asked about his “Google problem” recently, the publication reported. “It’s one guy,” Santorum told Roll Call. “You know who it is. The Internet allows for this type of vulgarity to circulate. It’s unfortunate that we have someone who obviously has some issues. But he has an opportunity to speak.”

Santorum added, however, that the phenomenon is an indication of “incivility” in politics. “You want to talk about incivility,” he said. “I don’t know of anybody on the left who came to my defense for the incivility with respect to those things.”

In response to Santorum’s statements, Gay and Lesbian Victory Fund spokesman Dennis Dison told Roll Call, “I think that civility in politics is a fantastic goal. ... Speaking from the LGBT community, we wish he would practice it.”