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COMMENTARY: Anti-gay Evangelicals endorse homophobic Rick Santorum

As so-called moderate Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney builds momentum in his bid to be the GOP nominee, the party’s homophobic wing dominated by anti-gay Evangelicals has rallied behind Rick Santorum.

A roster of known anti-gay hate groups who dominate the Religious Right joined Evangelicals at a ranch in Texas on Friday night, eventually voting to support Santorum over Newt Gingrich and Rick Perry.

The Family Research Council, led by its homophobic president Tony Perkins, was there. So was the Rev. Jim Garlow, pastor of the mega church Skyline Church in San Diego’s East County, who is rabidly opposed to LGBT rights including marriage equality. Also attending was the Gary Bauer, president of American Values, a nonprofit that fights for traditional marriage and against LGBT rights.

Evangelicals and Fundamentalists are horrified that a Mormon could possibly win the GOP nomination … and many LGBT groups would likely agree, considering that the Mormon Church was one of the top fundraisers in California’s Proposition 8 campaign and is notorious for its anti-gay stances. But that’s about all the two camps would probably agree upon.

Santorum, Gingrich and Perry, who openly oppose gay rights and act proud of being homophobic, are ramping up their attacks on Romney because the Religious Right believes the former Massachusetts governor is not conservative enough for their taste. This circular firing squad is doing an excellent job of pointing out all of Romney’s weaknesses, including his penchant for flip-flopping on the issues. With friends like that, who needs enemies?

Add the more libertarian Ron Paul into the frothy mix, and Romney is getting hammered on all sides. Yet, with the Super PACs running amok and out of control, Romney seems to be gaining, not losing, support.

What does this mean? Has the Religious Right lost its clout? Has the Tea Party, which has been unmasked as a fraud movement that essentially is just Religious Right 2.0, waned in its influence? The growing evidence is that the answer is yes … and that is good news for moderates in either major political party.

Ken Williams is Editor in Chief of SDGLN. He can be reached at ken@sdgln.com, @KenSanDiego on Twitter, or by calling toll-free to (877) 727-5446, ext. 713.