Sun Sentinel Broward Edition
Surprise! Santorum backs Bruce Jenner
Bruce Jenner, whose gender transition was recently made public, has a surprising new supporter: former Sen. Rick Santorum, a man who has compared samesex marriages to bestiality and pedophilia and repeatedly opposed expanding LGBT rights. Santorum told BuzzFeed he loves and accepts Jenner.
“If he says he’s a woman, then he’s a woman,” Santorum said during a media roundtable at Saturday’s South Carolina Republican Party’s convention. “My responsibility as a human being is to love and accept everybody.”
Jenner’s gender transition was announced in a widely watched “20/20” special last month. Diane Sawyer said then that it was the last interview Jenner, 65, would give as “Bruce.” Support for Jenner’s announcement was swift and near-universal — not just from Jenner’s children, stepchildren and exwife, but also from renowned figures in the LGBT community and beyond. Santorum is considering another presidential run, according to BuzzFeed, and with these comments becomes perhaps the highest-profile conservative politician to speak out in support.
Santorum said he draws a clear line between who people are and what they choose to do — and “not to criticize people for who they are. 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.”