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Santorum in Iowa Talks Effects of Legalized Gay Marriage on School Children

The candidate attended an education forum hosted by UNI and Iowa Public Radio.

 

Republican presidential candidate Rick Santorum said he is concerned about legalized gay marriage spilling over into lessons in the classroom, during a campaign stop in Cedar Falls, IA on Friday.

The former senator from Pennsylvania said when same sex marriages were legally accepted - Iowa legalized gay marriage in 2009 - gay relationships would also be taught about in schools in ways parents against homosexuality wouldn't want their children exposed to.

It could be when students read about their families or when health classes talked about sexuality, he said.

"One of the impacts of same sex marriage is the normalization and inoculation of normalization of same-sex values," he said.

Santorum addressed a crowd of more than 100, mostly students mixed with some community members, in the lobby at the today.

Santorum's stances against gay marriage have been a consistent part of his platform as a religious conservative.

Santorum invoked God extensively in remarks during his appearance.

"The God of Abraham, Issac and Jacob gave us rights. And not just rights but responsibility," he said.

A pamphlet printed with the Declaration of Independence and the U.S. Constitution sat on each chair, both of which he quoted from in his speech.

He referred to God's presence in the lives of America's founding fathers and said that presence helped shape the country's roots. He lamented what he described as a loss of understanding of God-centered morality that he said has led to America's current struggles.

But he said some people in America see the country differently than he does.

He would like to see education decisions come from the local level rather than the federal government.

"Education has been, since the industrial revolution, very top down," he said. "One hundred years ago schools were basically run by parents and communities. Now, the government needs to get in as soon as it can to influence the educational lives of children."

While he did not go so far as some other candidates who have said the U.S. Department of Education should be eliminated, he said he would eliminate federal mandates and funding for education and return all power to the states.

"President Obama doesn't know the names of your children. How dare we say he knows what's best for them?" he said.

The event was part of UNI's Presidential Candidate Education Forum, "Addressing the Challenges and Opportunities in Education," co-hosted by Iowa Public Radio. Santorum is the second candidate to attend the forum, following Michele Bachmann's .

Santorum spoke for about 30 minutes before taking audience questions.

Dawn Ask Martin, of Cedar Falls, asked how he would fix No Child Left Behind, the federal education reform bill passed during the Bush administration.

"As someone who voted for No Child Left Behind, somewhat reluctantly, I repent before you," Santorum said. "I would repeal No Child Left Behind. I would repeal the funding and the mandates."

Ben Kieffer, host of Iowa Public Radio's The Exchange, moderated the forum, which will be broadcast Dec. 12. at 2 p.m.

Santorum, who picked up a key political endorsement Friday morning from Iowa Secretary of State Matt Schultz, was named the first choice of six percent of likely Iowa caucus-goers in a Dec. 3 Des Moines Register poll. He has gotten little media attention or speaking time at debates. However, he has spent extensive time in Iowa and is reportedly the only Republican candidate to have visited every one of the state's 99 counties.

Many audience members said they were there to learn more about the candidate before they decided who to caucus for.

"We want to know what he had to say. We haven't heard much about him and his views," said Bob Hall, of Cedar Falls. He and his wife, Jean Hall, said they were former school teachers, so candidates' education policies were important to them. Both declined to give their age.

Erik Murray, 22, a UNI senior, said he already knew a little about Santorum's platform, but always likes to hear from candidates in person before making up his mind.

"I just like to see all the candidates," he said. "I just want to hear his general outlook."

Earlier today, Santorum hosted a town hall-style meeting at restaurant in the Pipac Centre.

Judd Saul, who helped organize that event, said about 20 people attended.

Schmice December 12, 2011 at 05:39 AM
X 2.
Nan Hahn December 12, 2011 at 01:32 PM
Santorum is ALREADY irrelevant and in the ash heaps of history. Remember, he's a FORMER Senator - his PA constituentes virtually ran him out of DC on a rail. He lost his re-election bid by a landslide! I cannot believe there are people who actually think he's qualified to be president!!
shanewilson December 14, 2011 at 09:28 AM
same sex marriage is a reta issue here..ANd just recently this has been a trending issue for the presidency candidates.On the campaign trail Monday, Republican presidential hopeful Mitt Romney met some head-on problems from a Vietnam veteran. The hopeful -- previously the governor of Massachusetts -- met resistance over his stance on gay matrimony at a restaurant in Manchester, N.H.. It will be interesting to see how this affects Romney’s campaign. http://www.newsytype.com/
Joy O'Neill December 17, 2011 at 12:06 AM
Impressive and thoughtful comments from all. I am inspired from the bottom of my heart with the brilliant rebuttal of Santorum's folly. I find myself embarrassed for him, and so proud of the rest of my fellow man...All inclusive. Thank you for stating more clearly than I ever could. J. O'Neill
Philip Chandler December 17, 2011 at 07:56 PM
What sickens me about the Republican slate is the sheer hypocrisy underlying many of their rantings. Newt Gingrich likes to talk about the importance of heterosexual marriage and supports a constitutional amendment to ban gay marriage -- this is a man who served his second wife with divorce papers as she lay recovering from ovarian cancer surgery; furthermore, he was conducting an adulterous relationship with the woman who would become his third wife at that time. Mitt Romney was a gay rights supporter for many years, and firmly supported civil unions for gay couples; now, in the interests of expedience, he has performed an about face (and calls this "changing his mind"). Watching these buffoons is like watching pit vipers attacking each other. Truly, we are in a sad state if men like this claim to speak for the rest of us... PHILIP CHANDLER

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