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AFA’s Fischer And Rick Santorum See Eye-To-Eye On Criminalizing Homosexuality

August 31, 2011 1:54 pm ET by Carlos Maza

Right Wing Watch recently captured Bryan Fischer -- spokesman for the American Family Association (AFA), which the Southern Poverty Law Center has designated an anti-gay hate group -- expressing support for the re-criminalization of homosexuality in all 50 states:

FISCHER: Both of the cases that went to the United States Supreme Court that dealt with the issue of whether states can criminalize sodomy -- and of course they still ought to be able to do it. Every state in the union criminalized sodomy until 1962 and then 49 states until 1972, then they began to fall like dominoes. But from the time of the founding until late in the 20th century, a homosexual sexual activity was a felony offense in the United States of America. There is no reason why it cannot be a criminal offense once again -- absolutely none.

This isn’t even the first time Fischer has called for criminalizing private, consensual sexual activity between gay and lesbian people. In February 2010, he said such behavior “should be against the law.”

It would be easy to dismiss Fischer’s comments as extreme and fringe. After all, this is the same person who routinely claims that gay people helped orchestrate the Holocaust.

Unfortunately, Fischer’s comments are anything but unusual. They’ve been echoed by at least one prominent GOP presidential candidate: Rick Santorum. In 2003, Santorum asserted that striking down state sodomy laws would “undermine the fabric of our society”:

We have laws in states, like the one at the Supreme Court right now, that has sodomy laws and they were there for a purpose. Because, again, I would argue, they undermine the basic tenets of our society and the family. 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. Does that undermine the fabric of our society? I would argue yes, it does. [emphasis added]

Earlier this year, Santorum doubled down on his position, calling it a “correct legal argument.

Santorum isn’t alone in his ideological ties to Fischer. As NYU History Professor Jonathan Zimmerman recently noted, nearly every GOP presidential candidate has reached out to the hate group spokesman:

Several of the GOP candidates have allied themselves with the AFA. Michelle Bachmann, Newt Gingrich, and Herman Cain have all appeared on Fischer's radio show. And the newest kid on the block in the Republican race, Texas Gov. Rick Perry, was the featured speaker at an AFA-sponsored prayer rally on Aug. 6 at Houston's Reliant Stadium. 

Apparently, calling for gays to be put in jail and blaming them for the Holocaust isn’t enough to get you blacklisted with Republican presidential hopefuls.

One has to wonder, though: If endorsing these remarks was enough to get the AFA listed as an anti-gay hate group, what does that make the 2012 GOP primary field?

Previously:

Santorum: “I Have Gay Friends And I Respect Their Decision”

Which Gay Rights Does Santorum Think Iran Should Protect?

State Sodomy Laws Continue To Target LGBT Americans