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Senator Santorum's comments...(35 posts)

Senator Santorum's comments...Dwayne Barry
Apr 23, 2003 7:48 AM
got me thinking. While I find male homosexuality distasteful, in the sense that I wouldn't want to look at it, why do people have a "problem" with it?

And furthermore something else I don't get, coming from an anthropology background, what in the world is the problem with bigamy or polygamy? These were and still are in some cultures the norm? Why do people lump this in with homosexuality, bestiality, etc. as such a "ugly" thing?

I guess I just don't get why one person feels the need to intrude into the behavior of others as long as said behavior is mutually consensual.
Answer: Fear and Ignorance. nmJon Billheimer
Apr 23, 2003 8:12 AM
bigamy/polygamy etcColnagoFE
Apr 23, 2003 9:06 AM
I have no personal problem with these things but it seems that some polygamists seem to prey on impressionable young women (like below the legal age of consent) using religion and such to justify it and keep their hold on these girls/women. Between consenting adults though...it should be nobody's business what you do IMO.
First instinct: to agree with the SenatorPaulCL
Apr 23, 2003 9:22 AM
But then I read the entire unedited version of his interview (http://www.cnn.com/2003/ALLPOLITICS/04/22/santorum.excerpts.ap/index.html)

He is scary. On the surface, his comments regarding homosexual acts as disgusting and whether 'anything' is allowed in private...are important subjects to consider. I agree that there has to be some limit on what is accepted by society....can incest be allowed if it is behind closed doors..of course,not. But incest does not equal bigamy does not equal homosexuallity does not equal everything else he said.

But from my take on the interview, he wants limits on many things. He wants the states to regulate our behaviour, wants the state in our bedrooms. He wants the states, not the Supreme Court or the fed. gov't, to regulate our behaviour. But what if he is ever President Santorum - like the interviewer said. Scary.

FYI. I consider myself to be a republican - not a conservative, but a middle of the road republican. My long held belief: The far left liberals want to take my money and my ambition and give to those who have neither. The far right want to take my freedoms to protect me from myself. Extremists on both sides are scary. Paul
First instinct: to agree with the SenatorDJB
Apr 23, 2003 11:05 AM
i But from my take on the interview, he wants limits on
i many things. He wants the states to regulate our
i behaviour, wants the state in our bedrooms. He wants the
i states, not the Supreme Court or the fed. gov't, to
i regulate our behaviour. But what if he is ever President
i Santorum - like the interviewer said. Scary.

From the transcript:

i SANTORUM: I've been very clear about that. The right to
i privacy is a right that was created in a law that set
i forth a (ban on) rights to limit individual passions. And
i I don't agree with that. So I would make the argument
i that with president, or senator or congressman or whoever
i Santorum, I would put it back to where it is, the
i democratic process. If New York doesn't want sodomy laws,
i if the people of New York want abortion, fine. I mean, I
i wouldn't agree with it, but that's their right. But I
i don't agree with the Supreme Court coming in.

I don't think he's advocating the regulation of our behaviour, he just doesn't think it belongs in the courts. IF it is to happen (regulation), it should come out of the legislature. I don't see anything scary in that.
What's scarey about that is that you put rights up to a vote...PdxMark
Apr 23, 2003 11:28 AM
He doesn't want it in the courts because the courts will strike down unConstitutional limits on people's freedoms. Checks and balances. That's our system. The legislature doesn't get to opt out of the game.

We can go in circles about how different Supreme Courts might decide different issues, but fundamentally, they get to decide Constitutionality. That choice is not up to the legislature.

He is scarey because he doesn't get a fundamental premise of our system of government... or he does and he's just being a hypocrite.
These laws need to go and if it takes the SC , so be it.czardonic
Apr 23, 2003 11:31 AM
Santorum is employing the cliched conservative tactic of hiding his right-wing agenda behind a veneer of "States Rights" sentimentality.
You're right of course.DJB
Apr 23, 2003 12:23 PM
i "Checks and balances. That's our system. The legislature
i doesn't get to opt out of the game. "

I think that thought is really at the heart of the matter.

From Santorum's interview:

i "It all comes from, I would argue, this right to privacy
i that doesn't exist in my opinion in the United States
i Constitution, this right that was created, it was created
i in Griswold -- Griswold was the contraceptive case -- and
i abortion. And now we're just extending it out. And the
i further you extend it out, the more you -- this freedom
i actually intervenes and affects the family."

I think that if 'we the people' want privacy to be a Constitutional right, then we should go through the legislative process (Constitutional amendment) to make it so. The court has circumvented that procedure.

i "He doesn't want it in the courts because the courts will
i strike down unConstitutional limits on people's
i freedoms."

I think that Santorum is mainly concerned with laws being ruled 'unConstitutional' based on a right that isn't found n the Constitution. I don't for a minute think that 'he doesn't get it' concerning the foundations of our system of government. It's those that are in favor of an activist (imperial) judiciary that want to take the legislature out of the game.
Santorum is very much in favor of regulating behavior.czardonic
Apr 23, 2003 12:52 PM
His interview with AP demonstrates that he believes that states should be able to regulate what you do in your bedroom and that states should excercise that power because homosexuality is a threat to society.

    SANTORUM: We have laws in states, like the one at the Supreme Court right now, that has sodomy laws and they were there for a purpose. Because, again, I would argue, they undermine the basic tenets of our society and the family. And if the Supreme Court says that you have the right to consensual sex within your home, then you have the right to bigamy, you have the right to polygamy, you have the right to incest, you have the right to adultery. You have the right to anything. Does that undermine the fabric of our society? I would argue yes, it does. It all comes from, I would argue, this right to privacy that doesn't exist in my opinion in the United States Constitution, this right that was created, it was created in Griswold -- Griswold was the contraceptive case -- and abortion. And now we're just extending it out. And the further you extend it out, the more you -- this freedom actually intervenes and affects the family. You say, well, it's my individual freedom. Yes, but it destroys the basic unit of our society because it condones behavior that's antithetical to strong, healthy families. Whether it's polygamy, whether it's adultery, where it's sodomy, all of those things, are antithetical to a healthy, stable, traditional family.

    Every society in the history of man has upheld the institution of marriage as a bond between a man and a woman. Why? Because society is based on one thing: that society is based on the future of the society. And that's what? Children. Monogamous relationships. In every society, the definition of marriage has not ever to my knowledge included homosexuality. That's not to pick on homosexuality. It's not, you know, man on child, man on dog, or whatever the case may be. It is one thing. And when you destroy that you have a dramatic impact on the quality --

    AP: I'm sorry, I didn't think I was going to talk about "man on dog" with a United States senator, it's sort of freaking me out.

    SANTORUM: And that's sort of where we are in today's world, unfortunately. The idea is that the state doesn't have rights to limit individuals' wants and passions. I disagree with that. I think we absolutely have rights because there are consequences to letting people live out whatever wants or passions they desire. And we're seeing it in our society.

    AP: Sorry, I just never expected to talk about that when I came over here to interview you. Would a President Santorum eliminate a right to privacy -- you don't agree with it?

    SANTORUM: I've been very clear about that. The right to privacy is a right that was created in a law that set forth a (ban on) rights to limit individual passions. And I don't agree with that. So I would make the argument that with President, or Senator or Congressman or whoever Santorum, I would put it back to where it is, the democratic process. If New York doesn't want sodomy laws, if the people of New York want abortion, fine. I mean, I wouldn't agree with it, but that's their right. But I don't agree with the Supreme Court coming in.


AP story available here: (http://www.salon.com/news/wire/2003/04/23/santorum/index.html)
Read my post again...DJB
Apr 24, 2003 5:14 AM
If you do, you'll see that the first sentence in my last paragraph was clearly contradictory i.e. fingers typing while my brain wasn't looking! I meant to say it isn't that Santorum doesn't want any regulation...

Clearly, Santorum does want regulations. I think most of us would agree that there needs to be a line drawn somewhere. But I think Santorum's main 'threat to society' is the 'right to privacy' issue, which jepordizes the ability to set a line anywhere(the point White was making also). Moving the line (to legalize sodomy) is a different issue, as his last statement shows:

i So I would make the argument that with President, or
i Senator or Congressman or whoever Santorum, I would put
i it back to where it is, the democratic process. If New
i York doesn't want sodomy laws, if the people of New York
i want abortion, fine. I mean, I wouldn't agree with it,
i but that's their right. But I don't agree with the
i Supreme Court coming in.

Now this doesn't mean that he doesn't think that homosexual acts or the like are a threat to society. That's his right, and quite frankly, part of his job. But he sees the need to be able to draw that line somewhere, legislatively. Where that somewhere is is open to debate.
I see.czardonic
Apr 24, 2003 10:18 AM
I still disagree. I think that his concern about the "right" to privacy is a trojan horse carrying his desire to criminalize homosexuality. But I have no basis for that judgement other than my interpretation of his comments.
i fear this is being blown all out of proportionrufus
Apr 23, 2003 9:13 AM
.i beleive he made those comments referring to a court case that is currently being contested. a man has sued for divorce from his wife on the grounds of adultery. she was having an affair with another woman. the other woman is claiming that she can't be made a party to this case because adultery laws on the books only pertain to heterosexual relationships. so basically, she's trying to claim that based on current laws, a person involved in an outside relationship with a person of the same sex cannot be considered to have committed adultery.

.i believe santorum, while perhaps not phrasing his views as well as he might, or perhaps his words being taken somewhat out of context, is only referring toi the legal aspects of this case. that is, if homosexuals are to be thought of as having equal rights as heterosexual couples, including even the right to marry, then other laws pertaining to relationships, such as bigamy, adultery, and incest, should also apply to them as well.

we have problems with bigamy or polygamy in this country simply because they are illegal actions based upon our laws.
No it's not...PdxMark
Apr 23, 2003 9:47 AM
I'm not sure which case you're talking about. I thought Santorum was commenting on the Texas sodomy law that is before the US Supreme Court. I thought the Supremem Courst case was based on a police raid of an apartment based on a false tip. The police found two men having sex, so arrested them for that for lack of anything better to do.

Here's what Santorum said:

"If the Supreme Court says that you have the right to consensual [gay] sex within your home, then you have the right to bigamy, you have the right to polygamy, you have the right to incest, you have the right to adultery. You have the right to anything," Santorum said in the interview with the Associated Press.

First of all, he's applying an unsupported slippery-slope argument that has no basis in reality. There is a distinction between sex and marriage - in reality and in law. Sex between consenting adults is the issue in the sodomy case. It is the ultimate invasion by the government into people's lives.

Let's take bigamy and polygamy... Marriage is a legally recognized relationship between two people. Marriage does not equal sex... some would say they are mutually exclusive :)... There are sound policy reasons to limit marriage the marriage relationship, as recognized at law, between two people. Laws relating to marriage, as a legally recognized relationship, have nothing to do with laws relating to consensual sex between adults.

Incest, as a crime against a minor, is simply rape. To say that preventing the government from intruding into consensual adult sexual relations means that such crimes must therefore be legalized is nonsense. He could just have well said that murder must be legalized too.

Santorum's remarks are off the charts for nonsense. He explicitly ties consensual adult homosexual sex to as many hot-button sexual issues as he could. I always wonder just how well the sexual practices of people like him would stand up to public scrutiny - let's get him and his wife on the stand, under oath, to be sure they aren't committing sodomy.
yes, i'm afraid i was mistaken.rufus
Apr 23, 2003 10:03 AM
after reading the full text of his comments, it does seem his comments were more hateful. i especially noticed it in his comments about the priest molestation issue. he's saying that the left thinks that's ok because they were "consenting adults". from where i'm standing, teenagers and younger are not adults, and when a person in authority uses that position to have sex with others, that it's difficult to claim that as consensual, and is more likely coercion, bordering upon rape.
Not so.DJB
Apr 23, 2003 10:48 AM
i First of all, he's applying an unsupported slippery-slope
i argument that has no basis in reality.

Sen. Santorum's comment was based on the 1986 Supreme Court decision Bowers v. Hardwick (which I believe the state of Texas is using in the defense of their statute in the current SC case). In the decision, White, writing the majority opinion, says:

i "...And if respondent's submission is limited to the
i voluntary sexual conduct between consenting adults, it
i would be difficult, except by fiat, to limit the claimed
i right to homosexual conduct [478 U.S. 186, 196] while
i leaving exposed to prosecution adultery, incest, and
i other sexual crimes even though they are committed in the
i home. We are unwilling to start down that road."

The full opinion is available here:

http://caselaw.lp.findlaw.com/scripts/getcase.pl?court=us&vol=478&invol=186

Perhaps Justice White was "off the charts for nonsense" as well?
Not so.Alpedhuez55
Apr 23, 2003 11:15 AM
I thought there was an old case where police went in with a warrant looking for someone who wasn't there and instead found a stash of illegal pornography. THey arrested the person for the pornography and the case went to the supreme court and the conviction was overturned. It was someone vs. Ohio and I forget the name. I know Don King was somehow involved in the case though.

I would think the decision would work the same. Unless the warrant was for Sodomy, then they should not have been arrested. Unless it is considered finding a crime in progress instead of contraband. At any rate, as I said in my other post, Sodomy laws are out dated and should go.

Mike Y.
Not so.DJB
Apr 23, 2003 12:27 PM
I believe that in both cases, someone was arrested for sodomy.

Here is the summary (or the actions that led up to the case being before the Supreme Court) of the 1986 Bowers v. Hardwick case:

i After being charged with violating the Georgia statute
i criminalizing sodomy by committing that act with another
i adult male in the bedroom of his home, respondent
i Hardwick (respondent) brought suit in Federal District
i Court, challenging the constitutionality of the statute
i insofar as it criminalized consensual sodomy. The court
i granted the defendants' motion to dismiss for failure to
i state a claim. The Court of Appeals reversed and
i remanded, holding that the Georgia statute violated
i respondent's fundamental rights.

In both cases, the question seems to be, can the state regulate private behaviour in spite of the 'right to privacy'?
I was thinking of Mapp vs. OhioAlpedhuez55
Apr 23, 2003 6:00 PM
That was not the case I was thinking of. Though I like the fact that someone in a Sodomy case is named "Hardwick ;)Here is the case I was thinking of:
-----------------
Mapp vs Ohio
Search and Seizure
Dates: Argued on March 29, 1961 Decided on June 19, 1961
Facts of the Case
Dolree Mapp was convicted of possessing obscene materials after an admittedly illegal police search of her home for a fugitive. She appealed her conviction on the basis of freedom of expression.
Question Presented
Were the confiscated materials protected by the First Amendment? (May evidence obtained through a search in violation of the Fourth Amendment be admitted in a state criminal proceeding?)
Conclusion
The Court brushed aside the First Amendment issue and declared that "all evidence obtained by searches and seizures in violation of the Constitution is, by [the Fourth Amendment], inadmissible in a state court." Mapp had been convicted on the basis of illegally obtained evidence. This was an historic -- and controversial -- decision. It placed the requirement of excluding illegally obtained evidence from court at all levels of the government. The decision launched the Court on a troubled course of determining how and when to apply the exclusionary rule.
----------------------------
From what I heard of the new case, an ex-lover of one of the guys arrested sent the police to the apartment saying there were drugs or something. I would assume that would make this an illegal search. I do not know if it will apply here where the men were caught in the act of a crime. Though as I said before, the crime of Sodomy is pretty outdated.

Mike Y.
result in UKDougSloan
Apr 23, 2003 7:35 PM
From what little comparative law I had, I recall that in the UK, the illegally seized evidence is admitted, but the perp gets to sue the officer who did the search for violations of civil rights.

Doug
That'd be an interesting alternative to Miranda. . .czardonic
Apr 23, 2003 9:01 PM
. . .provided that the consequences of a successful civil rights suit were an equivalent deterent to police misconduct.
Afraid so...PdxMark
Apr 23, 2003 11:20 AM
Justice White's supposition about how a ruling on homosexual sodomy affects other laws, that are not at issue in the case, are dicta... a non-binding statement of opinion that is not relevant because the issue is not before the court.... and it's nonsense just like Santorum's comments.

First of all, adultery and incest relate to issues other than consensual homosexual sex. Incest relates to genetic or other issues, I suppose (I don't know about that), and adultery relates to the legally recognized institution of marriage. These distinctions render Santorum's and White's slippery slope suppositions strained at best, and more likely simply a Red Herring to avoid the real issue at hand.

I also missed where the Bowers case tossed in polygamy and bigamy laws as falling too. Did Justice White miss that in his understanding of the legal issues, or did Santorum just make those up?

And let's talk about adultery... Is that actually a crime that's enforced? Newt G. ought to have two strikes there. Bill Clinton. Oh say, someewhere around 10%-30% of spouses, depending on what study you want to believe. Is protection of an unenforced archaic statute the real rationale for criminalizing homosexual sex? I think not.
Afraid so...DJB
Apr 23, 2003 12:39 PM
i "Justice White's supposition about how a ruling on
i homosexual sodomy affects other laws, that are not at
i issue in the case, are dicta... a non-binding statement
i of opinion that is not relevant because the issue is not
i before the court.... and it's nonsense just like
i Santorum's comments."

Since the comments are found in a Supreme Court ruling written for a majority opinion, I hardly think they're irrelevant, especially concerning a case that will, in effect, overturn Bowers.

i "I also missed where the Bowers case tossed in polygamy
i and bigamy laws as falling too. Did Justice White miss
i that in his understanding of the legal issues, or did
i Santorum just make those up?"

i "...and other sexual crimes..."

i "And let's talk about adultery..."

The only point is that these are laws on the books. And the question is does the 'right to privacy' invalidate, or render 'unconstitutional', these laws?
Equal protection is also an issue here nmPdxMark
Apr 23, 2003 1:08 PM
No it's not...Alpedhuez55
Apr 23, 2003 11:00 AM
Santorum's remarks were ignorant. He should have known better than to make them. THey were probably taken a little out of context, but what he was implying is flawed.

Sodomy is also often used when ploice want to charge a couple having sex in a car with something. Sodomy laws are outdated and should go. Eliminating them will not make other crimes like bigamy, rape, statatory rape or incest go away.

The sooner Santorum puts his foot in his mouth the better. But would that violate some foot fetish law he opposes ;)

Mike Y.
Thank you Mike Y.!! I agree! nmPdxMark
Apr 23, 2003 11:21 AM
the real hypocrisy...ClydeTri
Apr 23, 2003 11:36 AM
Is that who preach tolerance have no tolerance for people who have views they dont agree with. If a person really believes in tolerance, they have to support his right to say whatever he wants while not necessarily agreeing with it. To demand his resignation or call him names shows INTOLERANCE!
now you've got it!!! :) nmPdxMark
Apr 23, 2003 11:39 AM
That is a problem the Left certainly needs to address. (nm)czardonic
Apr 23, 2003 11:41 AM
laws regulating relationships?DougSloan
Apr 23, 2003 1:10 PM
I think there are two basic issues on these things. 1. Should a certain activity be banned by the government; and 2. Should the government official sanction a particular relationship?

The first question is easy for me. Do whatever you want, assuming consent. Have 14 "domestic partners", live with a goat, whatever you want.

The second question is much, much more difficult. Officially recognizing relationships has many effects. It concerns inheritances, guardianship issues, and tons of those types of rights (even to visit someone in a hospital). Same sex, 2 people "marriages," are probably ok. However, you start recognizing polygamist relationships, and you have real mess. You'd have competing interests out the wazoo. Which wife tells the doctor to pull the plug?

Historically, adultery laws, even before the 10 Commandments, were designed primarily to simplify inheritances. If the wife never fools around, then there is no doubt who the children really belong to and who should inherit. She starts messing around and you have lots of problems, as there was no DNA testing four thousand years ago. So, some of these laws that we think are morality based really started with very practical goals in mind; they became moral standards after a while (sort of like using a child safety seat or bike helmet now... :-) .

Instead of blanket recognition of "alternative" marriages, the states could recognize certain rights depending upon the situation, plus many of these rights can be created by agreement, like consents, wills, powers-of-attorney, etc.

Egg donation and cloning will further complicate things, so we are going to have to come up with some laws to deal with situations other than the historical husband/wife scenario anyway.

This isn't easy, and anyone claiming a simple solution probably hasn't thought it through. Leaving it up to the states is a partial solution, then, I suppose, you can go live where you want to take advantage of their laws; I'd fear that some states would pass very restrictive laws to purge the people they don't want around, though, and it wouldn't be very practical, anyway.

Doug
Seems pretty straightforward to me.czardonic
Apr 23, 2003 1:25 PM
What is good for the goose and the gander is good for the goose and the goose (or the gander and the gander). You can marry one person at a time, period.
not a very libertarian answerDougSloan
Apr 23, 2003 1:33 PM
While that simplifies things a lot (and I'm probably for it, actually), it puts an artificial constraint on marriages, and supposedly, along this line of thinking, the government should not be telling us how to live our lives.

I suppose you could have "team captain" or something like that. ;-)

What's wrong, I suppose, is to reject all non-man/wife marriages because some of them are hard to deal with. The slippery slope has a definite threshold to it.

Doug
Well, <i>if</i> you are going to have marriages at all. . .czardonic
Apr 23, 2003 1:48 PM
. . .it only seems fair to judge them based on their putative benefits to society rather than the physiology of the participants.
very utilitarianDougSloan
Apr 23, 2003 1:58 PM
Actually, my younger brother believes that marriages should not be legally recognized at all; if you want a religious ceremony, fine. No need for a legal recognition. He has a point. (He doesn't know it, but he's far more libertarian than I am.)

Doug
I would tend to agree with your brother, if not. . .czardonic
Apr 23, 2003 2:13 PM
. . .for the complications with inheritance, guardianship etc. Then again, I'm not sure that these issues are always simplified for the better. Marriage is no guaruntee that you will do right by your spouse and parentship is no guaruntee that you will do right by your children.
I think the package or "rights" that come with marriage...PdxMark
Apr 23, 2003 3:02 PM
provide a compact, reasonable package for addressing issues such as joint ownership, children, property rights, etc. Different states balance these differently,but as an off-the-shelf package, marriage is pretty efficient and covers for most people an otherwise a tangled legal mess.

People can get close to all those rights by building them up piece-meal, but it's not easy. So I think state-sanxctioned marriage makes sense, it should just be open to any unmarried couples who want to tie the knot.