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Republican candidates split primary wins on Super Tuesday

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

The field of Republican presidential candidates didn’t become any more clear Tuesday night after results were declared for the largest number of contests on a single day during the GOP primary season.

On Super Tuesday, when 10 states held primaries to award a total of 437 delegates, each of the Republicans candidates who had previously won states — former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney, former U.S. Sen. Rick Santorum and former U.S. House Speaker Newt Gingrich — took claim to new victories. Libertarian Rep. Ron Paul (R-Texas) didn’t win any states.

Romney won six states: Alaska, Ohio, Massachusetts, Vermont, Idaho and Virginia. Santorum had three in his column: Tennessee, North Dakota and Oklahoma. Gingrich picked up a win in home state of Georgia.

The contest in Ohio was the most highly contested between Romney and Santorum. A winner in the state, where total of 66 delegates were up for grabs, wasn’t declared until after midnight.

With 99 percent of precincts reporting, Romney won 38 percent of the vote, while Santorum had 37 percent. The win for Romney was narrow even though he reportedly outspent Santorum in Ohio by a 12 to 1 ratio.

Ed Mullen, executive director of Equality Ohio, said a win for Romney was more favorable than a win for the more anti-gay Santorum.

“While Gov. Romney has expressed anti-LGBT positions during the campaign, it is heartening to see that Ohioans rejected the radical anti-LGBT positions of Rick Santorum, who traveled the state with Maggie Gallagher,” Mullen said.

Gallagher, founder of the National Organization for Marriage and one of the most high-profile anti-gay activists, campaigned with Santorum in Ohio and spoke on his behalf at rallies.

But Romney’s other wins aren’t surprising. Massachusetts is the state where Romney has served in his highest capacity as a government official, and Vermont is nearby in geography and Republicans there have a similar temperament. Idaho has a large presence of Mormons, which is Romney’s religion. In Virginia, Romney was one of two candidates on the ballot along with Paul.

Kara Suffredini, executive director of MassEquality, said Romney’s win in Massachusetts “was not unexpected” as she cautioned a Romney presidency would “be very bad news for LGBT people across America.”

“To go from President Barack Obama, who has accomplished more than any president in U.S. history to embrace the full dignity of LGBT people across the United States and around the globe, to former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney, who has actively opposed justice for LGBT youth and families at every turn, would be a tremendous setback for LGBT Americans,” Suffredini said.

As governor, Romney opposed a Massachusetts Supreme Court granting same-sex couples the right to marry and renewed enforcement of a 1913 anti-miscegenation law to block gay couples from other states from coming to the state to marry. According to MassEquality, Romney abolished the Governor’s Commission on GLBT Youth and rescinded an executive order prohibiting sexual orientation discrimination in the state workforce. Another Republican, former Gov. William Weld, had put those measures in place.

Despite the split wins among the candidates, Romney still has the lead in terms of total delegates won in the Republican primary. According to the Associated Press, Romney has 212 while Santorum has 84, Gingrich has 72 and Paul has 22.

Jimmy LaSalvia, executive director of GOProud, said Romney has won “the lion’s share of delegates at stake” and Super Tuesday “all but guarantees that Romney will be the eventual nominee of the Republican Party.” LaSalvia has personally endorsed the candidate in the Republican primary.

“Obviously this process is technically not over,” LaSalvia said. “Despite the large delegate lead enjoyed by Gov. Romney, other candidates in the field have made it clear that they intend to continue on. The question that Republicans, and conservatives in particular, must begin to ask themselves is whether continuing this process is in the best interest of our movement, the party and – most importantly – our country.”

LaSalvia also took a dig at President Obama, saying he and “the left” are “fanning the flames of the culture wars” to distract Americans from economic issues facing the country.

Heads of LGBT groups in Tennessee and Oklahoma said they weren’t surprised Santorum won in their states because they said his anti-gay message resonate with voters there.

Chris Sanders, chair of Tennessee Equality Project’s Nashville Committee, said Tennessee’s LGBT community “is disgusted but not surprised” with Santorum’s win.

“Santorum’s comments about our community track closely with the kind of anti-equality legislation we’re fighting in this state,” Sanders said. “The results show that we have significant work to do in Tennessee if we are going to move the culture in favor of equality and away from the worst discriminatory policies and rhetoric.”

Tennessee State Sen. Stacey Campfield was among those who came to support Santorum even though the lawmaker was initially Gingrich’s co-chair of his Tennessee. He’s sponsor of the legislation commonly known as the “Don’t Say Gay” bill, which would prohibit discussion about homosexuality in schools from kindergarten through eighth grade.

Toby Jenkins, executive director of Oklahomans for Equality, also he’s “not surprised” with Santorum’s win in his state.

“He used a lot of buzzwords and fear statements that are people out here in this part of the country identify with because he panders to their worst fears and makes all sorts of outrageous suggestions about the LGBT community,” Jenkins said. “The reality is we’re not some outside force. Most of us out here are products of Oklahoma.”

Santorum has made his opposition to LGBT rights — in particular his opposition to same-sex marriage — well-known throughout his campaign across the country.

Jenkins said he isn’t aware of any anti-gay rhetoric from Santorum while he was in the state, but heard reports of people who were escorted out of his events because they pressed him on social issues.

Each of the Republican candidates who’ve won states have staked out anti-gay positions. Romney, Santorum and Gingrich have a signed a pledge from the National Organization for Marriage committed themselves upon election to the White House to backing a Federal Marriage Amendment, defending the Defense of Marriage Act and setting up a commission on religious freedom to investigate alleged harassment of opponents of same-sex marriage.

Santorum has said he’d reinstate “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell,” while Gingrich has said he’d order an “extensive review” of going back to the policy. Romney said he has no plans to return to “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell.”

The next major contest will take place on Saturday in Kansas, where 40 delegates are in play. The U.S. protectorates, Guam, Northern Mariana Islands and the U.S. Virgin Islands, are also set to hold conventions.

© Washington Blade. Reprinted by permission.

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23 more reader comments:

  1. bunch of mind numbing closed minded, bible thumping, anti-civil right dorks

    Posted on Tuesday, March 6, 2012 at 10:04pm
  2. @Julea, well-said. I hope they run Santorum – he’s such an ass, he can’t beat Obama.

    Posted on Tuesday, March 6, 2012 at 10:11pm

    Posted on Tuesday, March 6, 2012 at 10:14pm
  4. Obama in ’12

    Posted on Tuesday, March 6, 2012 at 10:17pm
  5. both are scary and sooo closed minded if they are president, just think at what they will do with other dignitaries of other countries and insulting them and a black eye to the americas!!! GOD FORBID!!!

    Posted on Tuesday, March 6, 2012 at 10:17pm
  6. by keeping the gop divided – it only strengthens Obama’s campaign.. The republican mudslinging will get worse, and feed Obama’s reeliection

    Posted on Tuesday, March 6, 2012 at 10:17pm
  7. ok, so I cannot spell re-election. LOL

    Posted on Tuesday, March 6, 2012 at 10:20pm
  8. Romney is an automaton, they have a very dangerous interpretation of our constitution…i really hope America makes the right choice…

    Posted on Tuesday, March 6, 2012 at 10:20pm
  9. Kony 2012

    Posted on Tuesday, March 6, 2012 at 10:32pm
  10. Gary Johnson 2012, no Obama/Romney for me.

    Posted on Tuesday, March 6, 2012 at 11:00pm
  11. Choice between the primo bigot, the out of touch flip flop bigot, the cheating bigot, or the libertarian LMAO….wow could have just had a race with a rock, a cup of water, a key and a block of wood and you would get a better candidate. LOL

    Posted on Tuesday, March 6, 2012 at 11:32pm
  12. RON PAUL 2012!!!!!!

    Posted on Wednesday, March 7, 2012 at 12:12am
  13. @ Insyx Piranah…It WAS a race between a rock, water a key, and a piece of wood. Label accordingly…

    Posted on Wednesday, March 7, 2012 at 1:11am
  14. Daniel Wilson: Ron Paul is a Racist and a homophobe and just plain cooky…PRESIDENT OBAMA 2012!!!!!!!!

    Posted on Wednesday, March 7, 2012 at 4:49am
  15. Register to vote today.

    Posted on Wednesday, March 7, 2012 at 4:55am
  16. Ron paul really isn’t a libertarian. He’s an ultra, ultra conservative in libertarian’s clothing. Please read up on his political views. Many of them are insane and would never work, like eliminating the depatment of education, the interior, etc., ending all government regulation of businesses. Are you kidding me? Did you ever read “The Jungle?”

    Posted on Wednesday, March 7, 2012 at 6:08am
  17. tell me!!! what has Obama done for gays??????????? please let me know what else you support him on, besides the gay issue? because from what i see, he’s done nothing for gays and there’s no other issues anyone with half a brain cell would support!!! so GAYS!!! PLEASE ENLIGHTEN ME AS TO WHY OBAMA IS SUPPORTED BY LGBTQ????

    Posted on Wednesday, March 7, 2012 at 8:37am
  18. Okay its real simple…Obama did wat he could and is still doing wat he can to rebuild this foiled nation…the way the economy is ain’t Obama thought..he came into a fucked situation..Bush really screwed America and all of you no it. Yall cant judge him because it is taking so long to fix the economy…IT’S NOT HIS FUCKN FAULT…IF U WANNA POINT THE FINGER THEN LOOK FOR BUSH…PPL KILL ME WITH THIS wat has Obama done…check the records he brought our military home wen every1 else wanted to keep em there…n OMG he lead the mission that killed Osama and ultimately crippled the group threaten our life…wat more do u ppl want…change dont happen over nite. it takes time…he doong a hell of alot more than Bush did.. Besides Bush fucked up this country not Obama…if u actually listen to these shit for brains ppl running for president…they talkn bout doing the same fuckn thing Obama already doing…Yall problem is Yall want quick change and it aint going dwn like that..and as far as for wat he.s done for the gays..duhh states are allowing us to get married..if Yall wanna by miserable like str8 ppl that r married then so be it. Give the man a damn chance to prove himself like he already doing…he is a man making a difference, proving that positive progess for America is not fantasy but reality. He doin wat he said he would do. Just pay attention to him and stop judging him on the shyt u read… Ima always support Obama becuz he is change. He made fuckn history..thanks to Obama they gotta rewrite all the history book… Damn some ppl just wanna tear the man down…hell if you think u can do better than wat he doing then y ain’t yo asses running for president….its like this those who can do will do and those who cant do will judge and down talk the one person tryna inspire change and make a difference..they did Martin Luther King the exact same way…dnt believe check the very books u read. The only difference is the bigots ain’t public but they out there….Enuff already

    Posted on Wednesday, March 7, 2012 at 10:34am
  19. I meant its not Obama.s fault not thought..I meant to say doing not doong I was typn rather fast…sorry college does that to u sometimes. # mistakes 2 be made

    Posted on Wednesday, March 7, 2012 at 10:39am
  20. -Issued a presidential memorandum directing all federal agencies to promote gay rights overseas for which clinton said that the United States would protect gay victims of persecution and that it would channel foreign assistance in ways that promote equal rights for gay people. -The White House wants gay people to know that it stands with them, it is publicizing initiatives like the State Department’s campaign against persecution overseas and a government conference on the problems faced by older gay people. -The repeal of the “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy -check thid out There is of course more but I am on a time limit. While many of these things are not currently impacting the laws of our nation, the fact that we have a president willing to take a stance in any form is bloody amazing after sooo many years of bush regime.

    Posted on Wednesday, March 7, 2012 at 10:48am
  21. really? you think that’s a milestone? that’s progress…pure and simple. He doesn’t want gays to have any rights. The other 98& of what he stands for is disturbing at best, so if you think your one little agenda trumps illegal aliens, foreign spending, and distribution of wealth which is a crock of crap, you have your priorities completely out of whack. I’d rather never be able to get married than watch this man ruin the rest of the country because of ALL the OTHER things he believes in. Good for you to think that our gay rights is the ONLY thing that matters!!! shame on you! shame on YOU!!

    Posted on Wednesday, March 7, 2012 at 2:27pm
  22. “Pressed for passage and signed repeal of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” law that banned openly lesbian, gay and bisexual servicemembers.”

    This is inaccurate. He didn’t press for shit. The law was ruled unconstitutional by a federal court, his DOD appealed the ruling and he reaped a whirlwind of shit and had to backtrack. This was NOT one of his priorities, in fact, if he had simply instructed his DoD to not appeal the law would have been dead. Lieutenant Dan Choi summed up this HomophObamic act by saying “the President gave mouth to mouth resesitation to discrimination”.

    “Obama announced he belives believes Section 3 of DOMA to be unconstitutional, and his administration has refused to defend the discriminatory law in court.”

    Too little too damned late. He could have done this during his first 100 days to 2 years in office, and the law would be gone. Instead he defended the law until the Republican lead congress could defend it. He waited too long, and his government still enforces it. DOMA is still law.

    ” Obama mandated hospitals nationwide to adopt LGBT-inclusive non-discrimination policies regarding visitation if they are to receive federal funds (i.e. accept Medicare or Medicaid)”

    He sent a memo encouraging hospitals to allow visitation, this memo is by no means legally binding. An executive order would have been more appropriate and legally binding. This is a symbolic gesture.

    “Obama has appointed more than 100 openly-LGBT individuals to positions throughout his administration, including 4 federal judges — more than any other President in history.”

    Were these appointees qualified? Then why does it matter? Four judges, count them, that’s even more gay judges than klinong or vulcan judges. More than any other President in history? Take that George Washington.

    ” Obama issued LGBT Pride Month proclamations in 2009 and 2010, the first since 2000, and held the first-ever Pride events at the White House.”

    So did President Clinton, and once again, how does this end discrimination? That’s right it doesn’t.
    What has the GOP done???

    Posted on Wednesday, March 7, 2012 at 9:23pm
  23. What has the GOP done?? Well, the GOP says they oppose gay rights and marriage equality. They’ve been doing their job by being the OPPOSITION. Republicans have but once job, to NOT be Democrats. From what I’ve seen they’re doing a damned good job at that. The question shouldn’t be “what has the GOP done?” It should be, how can Democrats(including the President) do a better job? Instead Democrats and the President act like children when they’re called out, by pointing their fingers at Republicans. President Obama and the Dems had a super-majority from 2008 to 2010 and they have NOONE but themselves to blame for their lack of action on issues, particularly gay and lesbian issues. Symbolic bullshit aside, Dems have failed MISERABLY on gay rights issues. And instead of blaming Republicans for eating their homework, they should get their acts together.

    Posted on Wednesday, March 7, 2012 at 9:28pm