GOING BOTH WAYS: GIULIANI ON GAYS AND CATHOLICISM

Once considered something of a friend to the gay community, Rudy Giuliani has managed to raise the ire of LGBT voters who may have considered him their best bet among the Republican presidential contenders.

In his ongoing effort to distance himself from his actual beliefs by means of contortionist reasoning, Rudy this Sunday made comments to Tim Russert on Meet the Press about gay "acts" that should serve to alienate both of the constituencies he was seeking to mollify: so-called "social conservatives" and Log Cabin Republicans.

MR. RUSSERT: But you don’t believe homosexuality is aberrant...

MR. GIULIANI: Oh, no, no, no.

MR. RUSSERT: ...unnatural or sinful.

MR. GIULIANI: My, my, my -- no, I don’t believe it’s sinful. My, my moral views on this come from the, you know, from the Catholic Church, and I believe that homosexuality, heterosexuality as a, as a way that somebody leads their life is not -- isn’t sinful. It’s the acts, it’s the various acts that people perform that are sinful, not the—not the orientation that they have.

MR. RUSSERT: The Congress is discussing and...

MR. GIULIANI: Which includes me, by the way. I mean, you know, unfortunately, I’ve had my own sins that I’ve had to confess and had to deal with and try to overcome and so I’m very, very empathetic with people, and that we’re all, we’re all imperfect human beings struggling to, to try to be better.

Asked to comment on Giuliani's remarks, Log Cabin Republicans President Patrick Sammon said, "His record and his comments speak for themselves."

Giuliani's present dilemma was foreshadowed by his decision to address the Values Voter Summit sponsored by the Family Research Council last October. Once he threw in for the votes of the right-wing religious base, the former New York mayor was bound to face a moment such as this. Now, with Mike Huckabee's surge causing him problems in South Carolina, Giuliani apparently thought it wise to deliver a variation on the old "hate the sin, love the sinner" chestnut. Guess it sounds more humane than Huckabee's call to "isolate" AIDS patients.

--Adele M. Stan

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