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The Dean watch

Dean speaks out
Democratic candidate Dean calls for Republican to resign leadership post

Wednesday, April 23, 2003

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(04-23) 09:31 PDT WASHINGTON (AP) --

Democratic presidential candidate Howard Dean on Wednesday called for Republican Sen. Rick Santorum to resign his leadership post after the lawmaker compared homosexuality to bigamy, polygamy, incest and adultery.

"Gay-bashing is not a legitimate public policy discussion; it is immoral. Rick Santorum's failure to recognize that attacking people because of who they are is morally wrong makes him unfit for a leadership position in the United States Senate," Dean said in a statement.

Santorum, Pennsylvania's junior senator, is No. 3 in the GOP leadership, serving as the Republican Party's conference chairman. On Tuesday, the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee also called for Santorum to step down as conference chairman; gay-rights groups and several Democrats have criticized the lawmaker for his comments.

As governor of Vermont, Dean signed legislation that allowed gay couples to enter into civil unions.