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Rick Santorum to visit Washington state on day the governor signs marriage equality bill

OLYMPIA, Wash. -- Republican presidential candidate Rick Santorum is planning to do his best to upstage Washington Gov. Chris Gregoire on the day she signs into law the bill that legalizes marriage equality in the state.

Santorum, who is unashamed of his homophobia, plans to meet with foes of marriage equality in the state capital of Olympia as well as in Tacoma. The anti-gay former Senator from Pennsylvania, who was whomped during his last re-election campaign, has scheduled at 7 pm campaign rally at the Washington Historical Museum in Tacoma.

Washington will have its GOP caucuses on March 3, and Santorum appears to be the "flavor of the month." Mitt Romney is currently leading in delegates to the Republican Convention in Tampa, Fla., and on Saturday barely won the Maine caucuses over Ron Paul.

Santorum's antics didn't play well with the Human Rights Campaign.

“Today is a historic day in Washington State, and it’s reflective of the growing support for marriage equality we’re seeing across the nation – regardless of one’s religion or background,” HRC President Joe Solmonese said. “Rick Santorum’s sideshow is purely a political maneuver designed to draw attention to a campaign that is dramatically out of step with the values of mainstream Americans.”

HRC pointed out:

Santorum told a gay man in Missouri that he didn’t deserve the “privilege” of marriage because same-sex relationships didn’t “benefit society like a marriage between a man and a woman.”

Santorum doesn’t have just policy differences with LGBT equality advocates – instead, he often goes after LGBT people on a more insidious level. He has compared marriage equality to polygamy and inanimate objects like cars, trees, and basketballs. Santorum also has criticized LGBT families and adoption by saying it is preferable for children to have a father in jail instead of two gay parents. He’s called the repeal of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” (DADT) a “tragic social experiment.” Santorum’s legislative work also was aimed at making life difficult for LGBT Americans – he voted against both hate crimes protections and workplace equality legislation.