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Two Men Disrupt Santorum Rally, Kiss As They Are Thrown Out

Protesters gathered at Rick Santorum's rally in Arlington Heights.

Two men who kissed one another were kicked out of presidential candidate Rick Santorum’s rally Friday evening at Christian Liberty Academy in Arlington Heights, Illinois.

Santorum was 15 minutes into his speech when the two men shouted and got the attention of the crowd. They exchanged a kiss, prompting guards to eject them and the crowd to chant “U-S-A” while they were leaving the gym.

When asked whether the kiss was a public display of affection or merely a symbolic act, Timothy Tross of Lombard and Ben Clifford of Algonquin, declined to comment.

“I don’t think the message should be about what my sexuality is,” Tross said. “It’s the message that he’s saying about sexuality that matters.”

About 50 protesters lined the street before the rally with signs that read “LGBT No H8,” “Catholics Against Santorum” and “If I incorporate myself, would you treat me like a person?” LGBT activist Matt Muchowski, who created the Facebook group “Carmel Catholic Alumni Against Rick Santorum,” planned the protest.

Santorum spent his senior year at Carmel Catholic High School in Mundelein and graduated in 1976.

“We feel it is important to counter Santorum’s anti-gay hate, to set an example to students,” Muchowski said. “Rick sends a message of bullying, but we want high school students to know that other alumni send a message of equality.”

The crowd of protesters, which was described as "mild" by police, was mostly in support of Obama, although there were a couple of Ron Paul fans in the mix. And while some were Carmel alumni, others were there because they heard about it in the news.

Husband and wife, Scott and Sue Delabruere, who went to school when the now-Christian Liberty Academy used to be Arlington Heights High School, said they came because they are both strong supporters of gay rights.

"There was something that bothered us about having someone so offensive in our hallowed halls," Sue Delabruere said.

Santorum's lllinois campaign director, Jon Zahm, estimated 2,100 people were in attendance at the rally—most being strong supporters.

James Doyle, a Mt. Prospect resident, said he came to the rally because he wanted to hear what the former Pennsylvania senator had to say, although he will likely cast his vote for Mitt Romney Tuesday.

“I cannot afford four more years of Obama and his ObamaCare, increased taxes and TARP,” Doyle said.

Leslie Bukowski from Cary, echoed Doyle’s sentiment: “I would vote for anyone who would be better than Obama, and any of them could be better.”

She said she likes Santorum’s social values, but she is more concerned about the economy and jobs. Rather than hearing about how Santorum’s opponents are wrong, she wanted to hear why Santorum is right for the job of presidency.

Santorum's speech focused largely on the importance of the 2012 election and criticized President Barack Obama's commitment to entitlement programs.

"We need a president who understands that America is the greatest country in the history of the world and what we’ve done across this country, across this world, it’s not oppress, it’s not invade, we are not invaders, we are not people that seek gain of territory, oil, property," Santorum said. "What we seek is security for ourselves and liberty and prosperity for others and it’s nothing to apologize for."

The Illinois 2012 primary election is Tuesday and polls show Santorum trailing front-runner Mitt Romney in the Chicago suburbs, but holding a slight lead among conservative downstate voters, according to the Huffington Post.

Dave Irvine March 18, 2012 at 05:15 AM
How stupid can people be so much as they feel that gay people don't deserve any rights and vote for someone who will deny gay people their rights?
Dan March 18, 2012 at 04:09 PM
Dave, no one is removing any rights; the rights that ARE being threatened are the rights for people to exert free-will and oppose a lifestyle that they disagree with. "Gay" persons can still do whatever it is they wish to do, but marriage was NEVER an institute FROM the State, but of the Church. Although Governments have traditionally seen the value in marriage, they never gained ownership of this sacrament. GOD is love and GOD is truth; these cannot be opposed. Just because modern times have eroded the biblical teachings against homosexuality does not mean those teachings have changed. The Church has become much weaker in this area sadly, and I hope things turn around. Who is more loving Dave, the parent who ensures a child's happiness by giving them freel license no matter the consequences, or the parent who teaches the child what is best for them and guides them to that end, no matter the agony or pain that lies in wait upon that path?
Lisa March 18, 2012 at 05:20 PM
Thanks Dan! That was beautifully explained. Well done!
John March 18, 2012 at 09:39 PM
Sorry, Dan, you're wrong. Marriage was historically a private matter, not involving either religion or the government. Only with the Council of Trent did the Catholic Church make marriage something that had to be officiated by the church. With the Marriage Ordinance of Geneva, the Protestants required that marriage be registered by both the government and the church. But it all started out as a private agreement between two people: nothing to do with religion. See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Marriage The problem is that rights are truly removed when marriage is not recognized. Many institutions (such as hospitals), states and the federal government remove rights when couples are not married, even if they're in a civil union. The story of Janice Langbehn is very instructive: http://www.nytimes.com/2009/05/19/health/19well.html Obviously no one is going to force the Catholic Church, or any other religion, to perform or recognize gay marriage. However, the Catholic Church, or other religious concerns cannot interfere with the ability of the state to recognize what are obviously stable and committed relationships and not deny them the rights that heterosexual couples enjoy. Everyone is allowed to believe what they want to believe based on the Bible or whatever, but unless it also happens to have a secular purpose, it can't be legislated for those that don't have the same beliefs.
irishsmile March 18, 2012 at 10:21 PM
Dan: Your comment reflects excellent critical thinking. John: Wikipedia and the New York Times are poor tainted, sources regarding anything Catholic.
John March 18, 2012 at 11:55 PM
Wikipedia is the production of millions of editors around the world, including Catholic ones like me, and it has been proven as accurate as traditional encyclopedias. In addition, there are extensive sources for Wikipedia articles, including this one, so you can go back to the sources if you doubt the information. Read some history and if you care to cite another conflicting source, please do. Otherwise you're just a troll. :-) The NYT has no bias against the Catholic Church: if you're going to make an accusation like that, I'd expect a source, and you present nothing. In any case, the NYT article that I cited had nothing to do with Catholicism: it was how a secular hospital wouldn't allow a lesbian to visit her dying partner of 17 years, because while they had all the legal documents, they weren't "married".
Cheri March 19, 2012 at 01:50 PM
@John, Sorry to say but taking things from Wikipedia does not constitute a valid argument especially since there are often times falsified information. With that being said, marriage has been a religious matter for ages. The Bible talks about marriages throughout the Old and New Testament. It is and has always been a religious matter not matter how much Wikipedia denies it. I find it ironic when Gay Marriage advocates claim that they are only concerned about getting "recongnized". That is a blatant lie in the fact that they are often forcing their views on others. Look at what happened at Santorum's rally. They do not agree that he has a right to oppose gay marriage so they make a scene and everyone applauds them. I have heard of gay groups taking or try taking down businesses owned by people who do not agree with their choices. They are setting up people and then go crying to the media about how unfairly they were treated. Tell me how that is in anyway not bullying. These people want rights but only if everyone thinks like they do. The Catholic Church does not take their rights away and believes in the human diginity of the person. Last time I looked, I thought we all had the right to believe what we want not just a select few.
nona March 19, 2012 at 03:01 PM
Thank you, John, for spreading logic and truth.

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