Ben Johnson contributed to this story.
GROSSE POINTE, MI, April 11, 2013 (LifeSiteNews.com) – This week, controversy erupted at a public high school in Michigan after former presidential candidate Rick Santorum was disinvited from giving a speech to its students because he supports traditional marriage.
The Young Americans for Freedom chapter at Grosse Pointe South Public High School invited the two-term U.S. Senator from Pennsylvania to give a speech on “leadership” and secured school approval for the visit. But Grosse Pointe Public School System Superintendent Dr. Thomas Harwood canceled the speech on Monday because of Santorum's rejection of gay “marriage,” according to Breitbart.com.
After outcry from the group of teens who raised the $18,000 necessary to bring Santorum to their school, the district relented and will permit the speech to go forward.
However, students will now need a signed permission slip from their parents to hear from Santorum, implying his views are offensive or potentially harmful to young people.
The pressure did not influence the senator to reconsider his views. Despite media-generated pressure and a handful of Republican defections, Santorum believes neither the GOP nor the Supreme Court will ultimately support redefining marriage.
“The Republican Party’s not going to change on this issue,” Santorum told the Des Moines Register on Monday.
“In my opinion it would be suicidal if it did,” he added. Polls show three-quarters of Republicans strongly reject same-sex “marriages.”
Santorum said he believes the Supreme Court will not legislate from the bench when it hands down its impending decisions on the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) and California’s Proposition 8.
The court, he said, “learned its lesson” from the 40-year culture war one of its previous decions set in place.
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“I think you’ll see, hopefully, a chastened Supreme Court is not going to make the same mistake in the cases as they did in Roe v. Wade,” Santorum told the paper.
The former senator’s comments come in the wake of two high-profile Republican reversals on the issue of gay ‘marriage.’ Senators Mark Kirk, R-IL, and Rob Portman, R-OH, recently announced their support for same-sex nuptials. Many in the media have speculated that the two Senators’ defections from the cause are harbingers of a coming shift in the Republican Party away from social conservatism.
But Santorum said he doesn’t believe Kirk’s and Portman’s reversals are the start of a lasting trend. He compared them to GOP politicians who supported abortion after Roe v. Wade in the early 1970s.
“I'm sure you could go back and read stories [from back then], oh, you know, ‘The Republican Party's going to change. This is the future,’” Santorum told the Register.
Yet 40 years later, the Republican Party remains pro-life.
“Obviously that didn't happen. I think you’re going to see the same stories written now [with regard to same-sex ‘marriage’], and it’s not going to happen,” he said.
Instead, the former Senator said in an e-mail to supporters of his group Patriot Voices, the GOP must mobilize the pro-family social conservatives who make up the heart of the party in order to recover from its heavy losses last election cycle.
The most effective way to energize the party's base and win broad public support is by defunding abortion giant Planned Parenthood.
“[W]e are going to push Republican congressional leaders to defund the monstrosity that is Planned Parenthood,” Santorum wrote. “Too many in the GOP want to ignore the millions of innocent lives that have been extinguished by this vile organization. Defunding Planned Parenthood is a winning issue. The polls prove it.”
An estimated three-to-six million Republicans stayed home in the 2012 presidential elections.
Santorum’s traditional values have made him a target for liberals both inside and outside the Republican Party.