Former Republican presidential candidate and US Sen. Rick Santorum talks to reporters at the Capitol on March 17, 2015, in Albany, NY.
Photo by Mike Groll/AP

Santorum clarifies surprising remarks about Bruce Jenner

Updated

Former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum, who is weighing another presidential bid, took to Facebook Sunday to clarify remarks he made earlier this weekend in support of Bruce Jenner, who recently came out as a transgender woman during a high-profile interview with Diane Sawyer.

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Speaking with reporters Saturday at the South Carolina Republican Party’s convention, Santorum shocked many when he said bluntly in response to a question from BuzzFeed News that “if [Jenner] says he’s a woman, then he’s a woman.” That display of acceptance stood in stark contrast to past remarks Santorum has made about the LGBT community – the most recent of which being that he would not attend a same-sex wedding “as a person of faith.”

Sunday evening, Santorum posted a Facebook message stating that his remarks about Jenner were “meant to express empathy not a change in public policy.”

Many of you may have read a story published by the website BuzzFeed where I was asked for my thoughts regarding Bruce…

Posted by Rick Santorum on Sunday, May 3, 2015

As matters of public policy, the next president can expect LGBT advocates to press for an end to the military’s ban on transgender service members, as well as a federal law banning discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity. At the state level, LGBT activists view so-called “bathroom bills” – which have been introduced by Republican lawmakers this year in Florida, Kentucky, and Texas – as the next front in the battle for transgender rights. Such legislation would bar the use of sex-segregated facilities, like bathrooms and locker rooms, in conjunction with a person’s gender identity.

Santorum told BuzzFeed he didn’t think “the federal government should get into the whole issue of bathrooms.”

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Bruce Jenner and Rick Santorum

Santorum clarifies surprising remarks about Bruce Jenner

Updated