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Santorum Calls Marriage Inequality ‘A Potent Weapon,’ But A Prominent Pollster Disagrees

Though he is no longer running for president, Rick Santorum is still identifying himself with opposition to same-sex marriage. In an interview with Arkansas TV station KARK, Santorum said that Mitt Romney ought to use the issue as a “potent weapon” in the campaign:

SANTORUM: This is a very potent weapon, if you will, for Governor Romney if he’s willing to step up and take advantage of a president who is very much out of touch with the values of America. Hopefully Governor Romney will continue to stand tall for his position on this issue and understand how detrimental it would be for society for it to have this changed.

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Such remarks demonstrate how disconnected marriage inequality proponents like Santorum are from the actual lives of gays and lesbians and their families. Jan van Lohuizen, a prominent pollster who support President George W. Bush’s re-election in 2004, is concerned that such views are going to increasingly alienate the Republican Party from the American public. In a memo sent to Republican operatives on Friday, he urged the use of talking points that recognize the “essential rights and protections” gays and lesbians should receive because “freedom means freedom for everyone.”

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The momentum around gay rights since President Obama’s endorsement of marriage equality last week seems to present a moment of truth for the Republican Party. Mitt Romney has sided with social conservatives, backing away even from his support for same-sex adoption, but if the party maintains such a hard stance against same-sex families, voters might soon see them as completely disconnected from reality.