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January 13, 2012

Candidates take jabs at marriag in New Hampshire

Manchester, N.H.--Days before the January 10 New Hampshire primary, the remaining Republican candidates gathered on Saturday night and Sunday morning for two more debates. The first of the two had the candidates face questions about same-sex marriage, which they took as an opportunity to restate their positions against it.

College students around the area have taken every available chance to heckle Rick Santorum for his vocal anti-gay positions, and the week leading up to the debate was no exception. After coming in second in the Iowa caucuses, eight votes behind Mitt Romney, he may have felt a degree of invulnerability, but the more independent New Hampshire voters smacked the taste of near-victory out of his mouth.

Santorum, who for the first time in years appeared as the first Google result when searching for his name, came in fifth, beating only Texas Gov. Rick Perry.

Romney became the first Republican candidate to take both Iowa and New Hampshire since Gerald Ford.

However, three days before the primary, five out of six of the candidates took their shots at same-sex marriage. Newt Gingrich, who has been married three times and cheated on at least two of his wives with congressional staffers, said that he opposes same-sex marriage, but favors allowing couples to name each other in wills and visit each other in hospital.

Romney and former Utah governor and ambassador to China Jon Huntsman echoed that sentiment, but Hunstman, who came in third, actually endorsed civil unions.

Santorum, Romney and Perry all professed support for a federal constitutional amendment barring same-sex marriage, and Santorum reiterated his support when reminded that the amendment would dissolve the marriages of 1,800 couples who have been wed in New Hampshire since same-sex marriage was legalized in 2010.

New Hampshire legislators are expected to vote on a bill to rescind that law later this month. Romney and Perry support the repeal, while a Gingrich campaign volunteer said it was inappropriate for presidential candidates to get involved with the New Hampshire marriage issue.

Romney was asked at the next morning’s debate about his earlier support for gay civil rights when he unsuccessfully ran against Ted Kennedy for Senate in 1994. Romney said that he had a gay cabinet member as governor of Massachusetts, and he does not discriminate. Except, apparently, when it comes to marriage.

After Santorum’s 2003 comments equating homosexuality to polygamy and bestiality, columnist Dan Savage asked his readers for a definition to fit the then-senator’s name, which has a vaguely Latin or medical ring to it. They came up with “the frothy mixture of lube and fecal matter that is sometimes the byproduct of anal sex” as the new definition, and it quickly became the top result on a Google search of “santorum.” It remained the number one result for years until Santorum’s Iowa win, and it is still the second and third result, as of January 10, not counting a paid top result sponsored by the Santorum campaign.












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