A Worthless Attack

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.

— Republican Senator Rick Santorum of Pennsylvania, April 21, 2003

The president believes that the senator is an inclusive man...The president has confidence in Senator Santorum and thinks he’s doing a good job as senator — including in his leadership post.

— White House Press Secretary Ari Fleischer, voicing President Bush’s support of Senator Santorum, April 25, 2003

(Mary Cheney is) a selfish hedonist because she is a lesbian.

— Republican Senatorial Candidate Alan Keyes, September 1, 2004

There is nothing normal about the homosexual lifestyle. I do believe they are not to be hated as individuals. I do believe they are living a life choice because of mental instabilities in their lives. This in no way excuses their actions or should allow them to pursue their pernicious lifestyle publicly. I feel like society has let them down.

— theconservative.info

...communists are using homosexuality to push an attack on the family.

— California GOP activist Tim Bueler, 17, February 22, 2004

The Bush administration has chosen Jerry Thacker, a Pennsylvania marketing consultant who has characterized AIDS as the ‘gay plague,’ to serve on the Presidential Advisory Commission on HIV and AIDS.

— the Washington Post, January 23, 2003

During his first tenure as Senate majority leader, Trent Lott publicly compared homosexuality to kleptomania.

— the Advocate, December 10, 2002

AIDS is nature’s retribution for violating the laws of nature.

— Pat Buchanan in his 1992 presidential campaign.

We’re all God’s children, Bob, and I think if you were to talk to Dick Cheney’s daughter, who is a lesbian, she would tell you that she’s being who she was. She’s being who she was born as. I think if you talk to anybody, it’s not a choice. I’ve met people who struggled with this for years, people who were in a marriage, because they were living a sort of convention, and they struggled with it. And I’ve met wives who are supportive of their husbands or vice versa when they finally sort of broke out and allowed themselves to live who they were, who they felt God had made them. I think we have to respect that.

— Democratic Presidential Nominee Senator John Kerry, October 13, 2004

Don’t be fooled by campaign smokescreens. Above is a small sampling (among high-ranking GOP officials and nominally off-the-radar supporters, and quotes from various news sources) of widespread anti-gay sentiment in the Republican Party, and Senator Kerry’s comments during the last debate. Republican and conservative ideology seeks to debase and dehumanize homosexuals as inherently evil and malformed outsiders in American society. Yet Senator Kerry is being lambasted for his comments about Vice President Cheney’s daughter. The Republican Party uses the dirty trick as a primary weapon in winning political races. Faced with this most minor of responses, they paint Senator Kerry as moving the battle onto sacred, personal grounds. Make no mistake, Senator Kerry’s comments push the barrier of responsible campaigning, but they do not break it. In that way, his campaign is far different from the campaigns of outright lies, base accusations, and voter tampering on which the GOP thrives.