×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Santorum’s N.H. Loss Reflects Shifting Support for Gay Rights

After a lackluster finish in which he will finish fourth or fifth in New Hampshire, Rick Santorum told supporters, “We knew it would be tough.”

A week ago, he nearly beat Mitt Romney in Iowa, a placing that should have made him a genuine contender in the state. Instead, his campaign in the Granite State may be most remembered for the exchanges he had with college students over same-sex marriage and the occasional heckler challenging his stances on gay rights. (In his final appearance on Monday, protesters chanted “Bigot! Bigot!”)

By the weekend, when polls showed his support stalling out, he attempted to soften his message on LGBT issues, telling David Gregory during the NBC News debate that if he had a son that came out, “I would love him as much as I did the second before he said it.”

In a state heavy in independents and moderates, Santorum flopped. Anxious to win these voters, Democrats once downplayed their support of gay rights. This cycle, Republicans may find that it makes more sense to downplay their opposition to them.

This election may show that it is no longer clear cut that strident opposition to same-sex marriage and gays in the military plays well even in a Republican primary. Santorum won the caucus, but other candidates skidded with such Christian conservative messaging. Rick Perry was the only candidate to openly bash LGBT rights — “gays can serve openly in the military, but our kids can no longer openly celebrate Christmas — but it landed with a thud.

More Voices

  • Stock market Stock buyback

    Stock Buybacks Leave Firms Without Funds to Invest in Future (Column)

    Corporate giants on the S&P 500 have spent more than $720 billion during the past year on stock buybacks. Media and entertainment firms account for only a fraction of that spending, but even $1 million spent on share repurchases seems a foolhardy expenditure at this transformational moment for the industry. The record level of spending [...]

  • Hollywood Has Come Far With Diversity

    An Insider's Look at Hollywood's Diversity Efforts and How Far It Still Needs to Go

    I am a white man working in Hollywood. I grew up in Beverlywood, an all-white, predominantly Jewish, Los Angeles neighborhood sandwiched between 20th Century Fox Studios and MGM, where my elementary school had only one black student. I am compelled to write about diversity in Hollywood because “diversity” — in front of and behind the camera [...]

  • Venice Film Festival A Star is

    How Venice, Toronto and Telluride Festivals Stole Cannes' Luster (Column)

    In all the years I’ve been attending film festivals, I have never seen a lineup that looked as good on paper as Venice’s did this fall, boasting new films by Alfonso Cuarón (“Roma”), Damien Chazelle (“First Man”), Paul Greengrass (“22 July”), Mike Leigh (“Peterloo”) and the Coen brothers (“The Ballad of Buster Scruggs”) in competition, [...]

  • Black Women in Medicine BTS

    Hollywood Needs to Include People With Disabilities on Both Sides of the Camera (Guest Column)

    In five years, nothing has changed. Despite open calls for greater diversity and inclusion, recent research shows that there was little change in the number of characters with disabilities in popular films in 2017. A study conducted by the Annenberg Inclusion Initiative of the University of Southern California’s Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism found that [...]

  • Seven Seconds

    Fighting the Racial Bias at the Core of Hollywood’s Cop Shows (Guest Column)

    If fiction is the lie that tells a deeper truth, the TV crime genre has been, for the most part, the lie that simply tells a lie. As a storyteller (Veena) and an advocate for racial justice (Rashad), we collaborated for the past two-and-a-half years in an attempt to reimagine the roles of cops, victims, [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content