Rick Santorum Thinks Ending Discrimination Causes "Division"

August 01, 2011 2:09 pm ET — Jamison Foser

Rick Santorum

ThinkProgress' Igor Volsky debunks Rick Santorum's tired "slippery slope" argument against marriage equality. But another portion of Santorum's speech in Denver on Friday deserves attention as well:

It is not fine with me that New York has destroyed marriage. It is not fine with me that New York is setting a template that will cause great division in this country.

Setting aside the self-evident lunacy of the claim that "New York has destroyed marriage," this is a classic case of confusing "up" with "down." Discriminating against gay couples is by definition division — it divides gays from the rest of society. Recognizing same-sex marriages eliminates this division. Santorum's claim that this action causes "division" is a perverse attempt to co-opt the language of inclusion, for the sake of excluding people. It's like complaining that a prohibition on refusing service to African Americans discriminates against racist restaurateurs. Or, perhaps more precisely, like complaining that ending segregation would "cause great division." It is a morally and linguistically indefensible position.