Santorum is Out

Ana Abraham

A while ago, I wrote a couple of editorials about one of the GOP hopefuls for the 2012 presidency, a woman named Michele Bachmann. Her stances on some issues that were very near to many were frightening. She dropped her bid for the nomination in early 2012, but a former Senator from Pennsylvania soon came to the forefront to terrify liberal and human rights supporters.

Rick Santorum announced his bid for the GOP nomination with hopes to surpass likely nominee Mitt Romney, because, in the opinion of his campaign, his “deep conservative values” made him a better challenger to President Obama. Rick Santorum dropped the bid for the White House on April 10, which, in the opinions of many, is the best thing that could’ve happened. His stances on some key and controversial issues were and presumably still are just as scary as Bachmann’s, if not more.

When I wrote about Michele Bachmann, I took the standpoint of advocacy for the LGBT (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgendered) community. It is difficult not to do the same in Rick Santorum’s case, because some major points of his campaign seemed to center around decimating centuries of social progress.

If a person decides not to vote along their party lines in an election, it makes sense that they might look to the candidate who promises to represent their interests in the best way in Government. President Obama’s Administration has made a lot of progress in an issue that is one of the most important issues to many young 2012 voters like myself, and that is, of course, LGBT rights. Since 2008, seven states and the District of Columbia have legalized gay marriage. ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’ has been repealed, and California’s Proposition 8 is going to the Supreme Court. This is an incredible amount of progress, considering that during Bush’s eight years in the White House, only one state legalized same-sex marriage. Now, the reason that I’ve mentioned all of this is because of what Rick Santorum was planning to do if he had been elected President. He would have removed ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell,’ the recent statue that protects LGBT service members, calling it “tragic…social experimentation.” Santorum also went so far as to say that a child would be better off having a father in prison than be raised by lesbian parents.

Human Rights initiatives were up in arms against the Santorum campaign, which seemed to be based largely on his religious values. He believed that separation of church and state referred to the state having “no business telling the church what to do,” where the common interpretation of the phrase since its’ inception has been the opposite. Human Rights organizations were afraid that, with Santorum’s words undermining the Constitution in such a big way, all of the progress made by secular organizations would be in jeopardy, as well as the hard-earned rights of those groups who believed differently than he did.

November 6 is going to be a big day. In all likelihood, Mitt Romney will run on the Republican ticket. Recent polls have tried to determine who would win the election if it were held today, and although many of them suggest President Obama would, many others aren’t clear. I do encourage everyone to go to the polls on Election Day. Vote for whichever candidate represents your views the best. Educate yourself: learn about the candidates. If their plans scare you, let your voice be heard. If a candidate frightens you as much as Rick Santorum frightened so many, exercise your civic duty and try to keep them out of your government.