Rick Santorum on Bruce Jenner: ‘If he says he’s a woman, then he’s a woman’


Rick Santorum is a frothy mixture. He’s spent decades as a politician, political figure, political commentator and Republican presidential nominee saying awful things about the LGBTQ community. These statements weren’t just a couple of off-hand remarks in an interview 10 years ago either – as a senator, he used his bully pulpit to pontificate about how homosexual sex acts are not private, gay people should be punished and shunned for being gay and equating LGBTQ people to people who commit bestiality.

What’s the point of all of this? Two things. One, it’s very likely that Santorum is going to run for president again (lucky us, huh?). Two, Santorum answered a question about Bruce Jenner’s transition with a surprising amount of… compassion? Is this real?

Possible Republican presidential candidate Rick Santorum is weighing in on Bruce Jenner’s transition. After revealing to Diane Sawyer that he is transitioning from a man to a woman, the 65-year-old Olympic gold medalist and parent of six received some “respect” from the conservative politician.

“If he says he’s a woman, then he’s a woman,” Santorum told a group of reporters Saturday at the South Carolina Republican convention. “My responsibility as a human being is to love and accept everybody. Not to criticize people for who they are.”

During his two-hour sit down with ABC News, Bruce also admitted to being a Republican. In fact, he told Sawyer that he would go to House Speaker John Boehner and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell to help promote the LGBT cause.

“In a heartbeat, why not,” he told Sawyer. “And I think they’d be very receptive to it.”

Santorum, however, has not always been open about LGBT rights. The politician recently made headlines with his strict views on same-sex marriage after saying that he would not attend a same-sex wedding because it “would be a violation of my faith.” But on the topic of Jenner, the 56-year-old urged the public to react in a “compassionate and respectful” manner.

“I can criticize, and I do, for what people do, for their behavior. But as far as for who they are, you have to respect everybody, and these are obviously complex issues for businesses, for society,” he said. “And I think we have to look at it in a way that is compassionate and respectful of everybody.”

[From E! News]

As you might remember, I thought the most shocking thing in Jenner’s 20/20 interview was his admission that he’s a Republican. Which… I mean, his body, his choice and I would assume Jenner’s politics are more about “conservative economics” than anything else. I think it will be interesting to see more potential or actual Republican politicians get questions about transgender Americans. Honestly, I can see a lot of them parsing their words like Santorum. If you really look at what he said, he’s saying that as a Christian, it’s his duty to “love and accept everyone” but as a politician, he would criticize (and punish) transgender and gay people for “their behavior.” So, it’s sort of okay if you’re LGBTQ, just don’t DO anything about it. No transitioning, no gay sex. NEVER!



Photos courtesy of WENN.

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37 Responses to “Rick Santorum on Bruce Jenner: ‘If he says he’s a woman, then he’s a woman’”

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  1. Lara K says:

    Ah, the verbal callisthenics!
    “I may or may not might like to not love gay people who are not of the gay type actions but yeah God says love.”

    I think he probably sprained his tongue.

  2. TX says:

    This is just shades of “we love the sinner, but not the sin” BS that they use to sidestep their un-Jesus like behavior and judgment.

    • Shambles says:

      Spot on.
      “To love a man enough to help him, you have to forfeit the warm, self-righteous glow that comes from judging.” – Ron Hall

    • GoodNamesAllTaken says:

      That’s exactly what he’s saying, TX. Fooling no one.

    • Hannah says:

      I think it’s fair not to agree with a lifestyle as long as you don’t let it affect your interactions with others and keep your opinions to yourself because what kind of world is this if we force others to accept our views (goes both ways) but yes, in this case, it’s BS.

  3. mia girl says:

    Yeah right, whatever Rick Vomitorium.

    Isn’t this in the vein of “Love the sinner, hate the sin”? Translation for LGBTQ- I “accept” who your are but will make you change all the things you do.

    • Kiddo says:

      I agree. This is parsing words carefully, except this is abundantly awkward: “If he says he’s a woman, then he’s a woman”. I realize Bruce’s choice for sticking to the male pronoun and the name Bruce in the interview, but that statement just seems to contradict itself.

      It’s interesting how the Republican party went off the rails. I know Republicans who are socially liberal, but conservative in economics. All of a sudden the party has turned into the Duggars, WTH happened?

      • GoodNamesAllTaken says:

        They needed the Duggars’ vote to win. Now they’re stuck.

      • Shambles says:

        I kind of flinched at the “he’s a woman” part too, Kiddo. It almost seemed like a jab, whether conscious or unconscious.

  4. Scarlet Vixen says:

    I continue to be baffled by conservative Christians’ obsession with what everyone does in the privacy of their own bedroom. WHY DO THEY ALL CARE?? I love sex–don’t get me wrong–but I don’t constantly obsess over it like people like the Duggars and business owners who don’t want to serve LGBT customers. Stop thinking about it, stop talking about it, and mind your damn business. FYI: straight/married/Christian/white/Republican/yankee/upper middle class people do kinky sh*t on their bedrooms, too. :-O

    • Lara K says:

      + 1000]

      You’d think even a bigoted toolbag would have bigger problems than someone else’s sexuality.

    • BengalCat2000 says:

      People who are comfortable with their own sexuality don’t care what others do in their bedrooms. This man is a relic, pandering to the lowest denominator of humanity. He won’t get far. People are becoming more tolerant. I tell myself that, I hope I’m right.

      • doofus says:

        “People who are comfortable with their own sexuality don’t care what others do in their bedrooms.”

        THIS. 100X this. I’ve said the same thing for years…if you’re overly concerned about OTHER people’s sex lives, you’re either 1) not getting any or 2) a closet-case who’s busy “pointing over there” as to not call attention to your own sexual proclivities. how often do we hear about a anti-LGBT politician who gets outed by a Grindr hook up, or something equivalent?…

        my motto is that as long as no children (or animals) are being harmed, and it’s all consensual…GET YOUR FREAK ON!

    • Flim says:

      They care because they believe that strong communities and morals and ethics are achieved by following a formula: two heterosexual parents with clear roles and responsibilities. They believe that deviating from that formula puts future generations at risk. Some of them also genuinely believe that straying from their God’s wishes will rob individuals of eternal afterlife, the great prize so many religions (including Christianity) promise in return for allegiance. With this fear, even the compassionate believers become hysterical, they feel genuine concern for the people they care about who are throwing away God’s greatest gift–blissful and eternal afterlife.

      Responding to some other comments too: it is simplistic to think sexual repression alone makes religious fundamentalists concerned about homosexuality and other lifestyles outside of their prescription.

      I personally believe ethics and morals are 100% independent of religion and God. I’m an atheist with no kids, to which a friend-of-a-friend replied, “so, I guess if you don’t believe in God and you don’t have kids, you can just do whatever you want, right? So what do you care about the environment or politics, anyway?” People like her and Rick Santorum apparently need God to tell them how to behave. I don’t.

  5. Chichi says:

    Looks like the GOP went and got themselves some PR consultants. You’ll see alot more backtracking from all the contenders including on womens issues. I just want to see how they intend to handle race. My bet is they’ll try to split the non-white vote by villainising black people but leaving open the door for latinos and asians. Mindy Kalings bro will just love that!

    • belle de jour says:

      “Looks like the GOP went and got themselves some PR consultants.”
      I agree with everything about your assessment of where they will be aiming & how they want this to play out.

    • Tiffany :) says:

      The problem with that is the consultants might be far better at understanding the math surrounding general elections…but they won’t be able to hold this line when it comes to primaries. The GOP primary voter is extremely, extremely conservative.

      Remember, during the GOP primary season debates last time around, the audience BOOO’d a solider who was in an actual war zone fighting for our country, simply because he was gay.

      Let me say that again: they boo’d a soldier in an active war zone.
      Their hate for “the gays” won out over their supposed love for the troops.

  6. Grace says:

    That’s great that his replies to media inquiries on his stance on transgender issues are more measured and seem to show more understanding on his part. However, its just empty words unless his stance is reflected in creating policies that will provide protection to the LGBT community.

    • Jayna says:

      It’s only because Bruce said in his interview he was a Republican. If Bruce had said he was a Democrat, he never would have made this statement.

      • Belle Epoch says:

        Bruce is white, Christian, and Republican. Apparently the Good Ol’ Boy network is for life – as long as you don’t have sex with anyone. When Bruce gets a girlfriend (didn’t he say he prefers women?) Santorum will NOT be happy.

        Using male pronoun because Bruce did.

      • jwoolman says:

        Yes, Santorum might actually know Bruce so it’s suddenly a “somebody I know” rather than some faceless stranger. It’s not unusual for general bigots to make individual exceptions like that. Of course, the positive responses amongst potential voters helps… But it also might be a personal vs general thing that is very common. This is why more people being open about it is such a good thing, that eventually changes minds one by one because they have family and friends and neighbors and coworkers, making it a personal issue and breaking through the more abstract prejudices.

        I wouldn’t fault Santorum for using “he”- Bruce hasn’t asked people to shift his name or grammatical gender in public yet. The statement Santorum made is valid even though it might seem odd grammatically. He’s saying that Bruce has the right to decide what he is, that’s a major step forward for Santorum and he should be praised for it. That’s how you reinforce good behavior in anybody. Good doggie! Have a treat.

    • GoodNamesAllTaken says:

      But if you read carefully, he’s really saying that it’s fine if you are gay as long as you don’t engage in homosexual activities. Just be a celibate gay person. He accepts you for who you are as long as you don’t act on it. So he really doesn’t accept you at all.

      • Kiddo says:

        I wonder if he only has sex to procreate. Actually I really don’t and saying that thought out loud made me vomit a little.

      • The other paige says:

        Thanx kiddo-pass the brain bleach.

  7. Miran says:

    What the what, who is this and what did he do with Rick Santorum? Still not getting my vote.

  8. Bethany says:

    Looks like he’s changing his opinion and is going to be ok with the guy who is being supported by most of the world, and said he is Republican

  9. Regina Phelange says:

    Baby steps? Maybe?

  10. Jenna says:

    Enjoying the sudden descent into the land of Kardashian for conservatives for a very specific reason – I was listing to the podcast Savage Lovecast by Dan Savage this week and he actually specifically calls out Republicans to say where they think their conservative friend Bruce should be allowed to sit to use the bathroom. (So many transpeople are fighting for safe usage of bathrooms that fit their identity, so many conservative groups are screaming it opens up the hellgates for rapists and perverts if it is tried) So if Bruce is : female, but uses he, conservative but trans – where does he go in the minds of the Republicans fighting the movement forward?

    And first thing on Monday morning I see one of the politicians called out by name coming forward about it? I need to a- stop missing episodes and b- start putting together question lists to beg Dan to ask…..

  11. NeoCleo says:

    Santorum has always been and probably always will be a certifiable nut job. The thought of him in a leadership role such as the presidency makes my palms sweaty and my stomach turn.

  12. hogtowngooner says:

    The optimist in me would love to believe he’s “evolving” in his stance on LGBT issues, which is admirable. But the realist in me thinks he sees what the polls are saying and is just whoring for votes.

  13. MelBelle says:

    I wonder if Rick Santorum found himself a nice loophole here and decided that because Bruce Jenner (still male in Santorum’s mind – not mine – please don’t confuse) is still interested in having sex with women, that’s not “gay” and okie dokie in his book.

    • Kori says:

      But Bruce said he’s still interested in women. So once he completes the transition wouldn’t he be a lesbian? He doesn’t seem he intends to eventually date men.

  14. sauvage says:

    Liar, Liar…

  15. MrsNix says:

    Or maybe…this is one of the many signs of societal change. Something to smile about instead of more fuel for collective resentment and anger. Let the change happen, and let’s just be happy about it.

    • GByeGirl says:

      That’s a lovely thought and I wish/hope that it’s true. I just can’t believe it because Santorum should also apologize for the hateful things he’s said and for his past judgment of others.