Rick Santorum Touts Endorsements From Anti-Gay Extremists In Effort To Stay Relevant

As he struggles to keep his floundering presidential campaign afloat, Rick Santorum is hoping to impress social conservative voters in Iowa by touting the endorsements of fringe anti-gay activists. Yesterday and then again today, the Santorum campaign sent two email messages to supporters highlighting endorsements from Karen Testerman of New Hampshire’s vehemently anti-gay Cornerstone Policy Research and Cary Gordon of Iowa’s Cornerstone World Outreach.

New Hampshire’s Cornerstone is leading the charge to repeal marriage equality in the state and is closely linked to anti-gay groups like the Alliance Defense Fund, the Family Research Council, Focus on the Family, and the National Organization for Marriage. The organization has also “endorsed discredited ‘ex-gay’ therapy outfits like Exodus International, Love Won Out, PFOX, and the National Association for Research and Therapy of Homosexuality (NARTH).”

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Iowa’s Cary Gordon — who led the charge the recall three Iowa justices who brought marriage equality to the state — is full of his own colorful opinions about gay and lesbian people (via Right Wing Watch):

— GAYS WILL EXTINGUISH AMERICA: “Protect the virtue of true Americanism from our own mental barbarians who attack our minds with the God-hating secularism of Europe,” like the Roman Empire “we too will be extinguished from the earth.” [3/2011]

— ADOPTION BY GAYS OFFENDS WOMEN: “When two men say to the world we can raise a child just as good as any heterosexual couple, I think that’s offensive to women, because you’re saying that a woman, a female, does not bring a unique contribution.” [3/2011]

— MARRIAGE EQUALITY WILL LEAD TO INCEST: Gordon said he believed the secular path he saw America’s society as being on would lead beyond legalizing same-sex marriages to polygamy, “whole villages getting married,” or grandparents marrying their own grandchildren. “There’s always been this fight of can you have a free country without God?” [3/2011]

Santorum has tried to break through with Republican primary voters by positioning himself as a lifelong conservative on foreign and domestic issues, but has yet to catch on as the favorite of the month in the GOP primary. His latest appeal even quotes Sarah Palin, who half heartedly endorsed the former Pennsylvania senator during an appearance last night on Fox News. “If voters start shifting gears and deciding they want ideological consistency, then they’re going to start paying attention to say, Rick Santorum,” she said.