More info in the sourceThere are 18,000 married gay and lesbian couples in California and at least 131,000 nationwide according to the 2010 census, conducted before New York state legalized same-sex marriage in July.
Rick Santorum says he'll try to unmarry all of them if he's elected president.
Once the U.S. Constitution is amended to prohibit same-gender marriages, "their marriage would be invalid," the former Pennsylvania senator said Dec. 30 in an NBC News interview.
"We can't have 50 different marriage laws in this country," he said. "You have to have one marriage law."
The comments didn't attract nearly as much attention as Santorum's recent invocation of his Catholic faith to denounce government support for birth control, prenatal testing and resource conservation - which, in the last case, he attributed to President Obama's "phony theology."
But his declared intention to nullify past as well as future same-sex marriages has reinforced his position to the right of the other Republican contenders, even though each of them has also voiced fervent support for traditional unions.
Mitt Romney, who was governor of Massachusetts when the state's high court became the first in the nation to declare a right to same-sex marriage in 2003, backs a constitutional amendment to outlaw such marriages in the future, but says he'd leave currently wedded couples alone. Newt Gingrich also wants an amendment but hasn't said whether it would be retroactive.
Ron Paul opposes same-sex marriage but wants the federal government to stay out of it - no federal benefits for gay and lesbian couples, no federal court authority to overturn state laws like California's Proposition 8 and no constitutional amendments overriding a state's prerogative to decide which of its residents can marry.
Also, what the fuck, can he even do this?