Acting Out

Raymond J. Aguilera Writes to Sen. Rick Santorum

AP: 04/22/03-Rick Santorum, the Senate's third-ranked Republican who is under fire from gay-rights groups and Democrats, says he has "no problem with homosexuality—I have a problem with homosexual acts."

Santorum says homosexual acts are a threat to the American family.



I'm writing today out of utter disgust for your recent comments about gays and lesbians. I realize that I should address you as Senator, but frankly, I do not feel that you deserve the respect that such a title conveys. You claim that you have nothing against homosexuals, that you are only against homosexual acts. That sort of thinly-veiled homophobia is so outdated that I truly do feel sad for you.

It all comes from, I would argue, this right to privacy that doesn't exist, in my opinion in the United States Constitution. -Sen Rick Santorum

Since you clearly are homophobic, you could at least stand up like a man and lay claim to your beliefs. But do you do that? Not publicly, that's for sure. Instead, you make half-comments that always allow you an escape hatch, just in case being for gay rights ever becomes politically advantageous for you. It's truly pathetic.

I think the Senator's remarks are right on the mark. -Kenneth Connor, Family Research Council

You claim that homosexuality is a threat to the American Family, but what I see as a true threat to the American way of life is men like you who are unwilling to stand up for what they believe. The example you set is one that I hope no one in MY family ever follows. I believe that you are an ignorant, backward man unfit to lead my country in any capacity. I believe that that is your "orientation," Unlike you, I am not afraid to say so, to stand up and take responsibility for my beliefs, rather than couching them in half-statements I can recant later.

And if the Supreme Court says that you have the right to consensual sex within your home, then you have the right to bigamy, you have the right to polygamy, you have the right to incest, you have the right to adultery, you have the right to anything. -Sen. Rick Santorum

I hope that someday you will have the courage to stand up for something that you believe. My opposition to your views on gays and lesbians is not nearly as significant as the cowardly way you go about spreading your small-minded hatred. Raise the bar a little bit, Rick. When you take responsibility for your beliefs you just might learn something, or become capable of being someone fit to lead this country. Until then, you're just a simpleton, a faulty cog in the system.

One might point out, a little wearily, that bigamy and polygamy, like other forms of marriage, are matters of contract law, not of private consensual sex. Or that Santorum's logic would dictate the criminalization of adultery as well as homosexuality, with potentially devastating consequences for both Houses of Congress. -Hendrik Hertzberg, The New Yorker

I look forward to a response, though I'm sure this e-mail won't make it anywhere near your desk. Still, stranger things have happened, and I would relish the opportunity to discuss your views. I may not agree with them, but as an American, I value more than anything your ability to express them. It's too bad that you don't have the courage to voice them directly.

Eagerly awaiting your prompt reply,
Ray Aguilera



BENT: A Journal of CripGay Voices/May 2003