Saturday, April 26, 2003

Give'm Hell Howard

Equal Rights is the Responsibility of Every American By Governor Howard Dean t r u t h o u t | Exclusive Editorial Sunday 27 April 2003 George W. Bush ran for President on the promise that he would be ``a uniter, not a divider.'' Nothing could be further from the truth. Earlier this week, Senator Rick Santorum, the third highest ranking Republican in the Senate, compared homosexuality to bigamy, polygamy, incest and adultery. On Friday, President Bush praised Santorum as ``an inclusive man.'' With his praise, this President has once again demonstrated his willingness to follow the extremist Republican tradition of dividing our country for political gain. The President knows that his defense of Santorum's inflammatory words deeply offends millions of gay and lesbian Americans, their family and friends; his praise also raises grave concerns about this Administration's commitment to civil rights and civil liberties. Senator Santorum has called his repugnant remarks ``a legitimate public policy discussion.'' Senator Santorum is wrong. Equating the private, consensual activities of adults to the molestation of minors is not a policy discussion. It is gay-bashing, and it is immoral. Senator Santorum asserted that the government has the right ``to limit individuals' wants and passions.'' While the government has the right to protect citizens from the harmful acts of others, as well as an obligation to promote the general welfare of all people, I do not believe that it is the proper role of government to step into the private bedrooms of consenting adults. The continuous assault by right-wing radicals on the privacy of ordinary Americans must stop. Senator Santorum must step down from his leadership post. His failure to recognize that it is wrong to attack people because of which group they belong to makes him unfit to hold a leadership position in the United States Senate. The issue at hand is about more than Senator Santorum's reprehensible statements, however, and the issue is also about more than the dignity and respect of gay and lesbian Americans. The issue is whether we, as Americans, will continue to allow ourselves to be led down a path by this Administration to a country that is divided against itself by race, income, gender, sexual orientation and religion. (much much more) Woohoo! Give'm hell Howard! BTW, I happen to disagree with the good Doctor on one point: Dean should not be calling for Santorum to step down. Santorum is a leader of the Republicans and it is therefore the responsibility of the Republicans to decide who they want to lead them. If they decide they want a gay-bashing bigot to lead them then they should have that right. And we should have the right to point out that that is who they think best represents them. But, other than that... Woohoo! Give'm hell Howard!

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