Rick Santorum's push to win social
conservatives in Iowa has been labeled “desperate” by gay rights
activists in the state.
Santorum, considered the Republican
field's most socially conservative presidential candidate, outlined
16 policy initiatives he would back if elected president during the
debut of his “Faith, Family and Freedom Tour,” including undoing
the repeal of “Don't Ask, Don't Tell,” the recently ended law
that for 18 years banned gay and bisexual troops from serving openly,
and instructing the Department of Justice to defend in court the
Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), the 1996 law that bars federal
agencies and the military from recognizing the legal marriages of gay
and lesbian couples.
“You cannot have limited government
if you have broken families because someone has to pick up the
pieces, and the ones who pick up the pieces are the taxpayers,” he
told an audience of about 50 people, the Des Moines Register
He also repeated his call to Congress
to abolish the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, considered by
conservatives to be an “activist court” which regularly decides
in favor of gay rights.
Troy Price, executive director of gay
rights group One Iowa, called Santorum's focus on social issues an
unfortunate attack on gay Americans. The speech is a sign of a “very
desperate campaign,” he said.