Santorum Logic on Contraception, Homosexuality

Jan 6, 2012 6:25pm

Personally, Rick Santorum is opposed to contraception.

Policy-wise, he wouldn’t vote to ban it for anyone.

But he doesn’t think the courts have any business stepping in, either way.

A lot has been made of Rick Santorum’s perceived opposition to contraception and homosexuality. But is not as simple as Santorum opposing contraception and gay sex and thinking the government should do everything it can to outlaw the two.

In Santorum’s view, states have the right to make laws outlawing things like contraception – although he says would not vote for the laws himself.

But while he disagrees with the specific state laws, he doesn’t want the Supreme Court striking them down, because that could create blanket rights affecting all Americans and tying the hands of state governments.

As far as contraception and gay sex, Santorum is personally opposed because of his Catholic faith.

Even so, he thinks states should have the legal right to limit what people do in their bedrooms – or to “limit individuals’ wants and passions,” as he puts it.  But he doesn’t want to be accused of actually wanting to limit those activities himself.

“I didn’t vote for any kind of ban on contraception, nor did I vote for any ban on sodomies, nor would I as president,” he told CNN’s John King this week. “I don’t believe that everything that is immoral should be illegal. The government doesn’t have a role to play in everything that, you know, that either people of faith or no faith think are wrong or immoral. That was one. And I said it at the time that I wouldn’t have voted for the Texas sodomy law that was in place nor would I vote to ban contraception, even though I think that – as a Catholic who the Catholic Church teaches that contraception is wrong - I would not do it myself.”

While he said he wouldn’t himself vote for a law banning contraception, Santorum doesn’t want the Supreme Court giving people the right to use it either, as it did in the 1965 Griswold v. Connecticut case, or to have gay sex in their homes, as the 2003 Lawrence v. Texas case did. Santorum wants to protect a state’s right to outlaw those things he personally wouldn’t vote to outlaw.

“The state has a right to do that. I have never questioned that the state has a right to do that. It is not a constitutional right. The state has the right to pass whatever statutes they have,” he told ABC’s Jake Tapper earlier this month. “That is the thing I have said about the activism of the Supreme Court: They are creating rights, and they should be left up to the people to decide.

“You shouldn’t create constitutional rights when states do dumb things,” Santorum told Tapper. “Let the people decide if the states are doing dumb things - get rid of the legislature and replace them – as opposed to creating constitutional laws that have consequences that were before them.”

The problem for voters is determining if they’d rather have a president who would actively side with people searching for rights to things like contraception and homosexuality or one who would passively allow those movements to bubble up without any help from the courts.

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