Former New York Republican Representative George Santos raised eyebrows during his final hours in office by publicly denouncing LGBTQ+ rights, specifically targeting marriage equality, despite being married to a man himself.
Santos marked his second wedding anniversary with his husband, Matt, by sharing pictures on social media along with the following message:
"2 year[s] since we said I Do!"
"Happy anniversary to my partner in life and to my rock who has not skipped a beat over the past few months. Thank you for being the most amazing spouse! I Love you to the moon and back!"
You can see his post below.
However, later that day, he made puzzling comments to reporters at the Capitol, expressing opposition to his own right to marry as a member of the LGBTQ+ community.
Santos reiterated his belief that his marriage should not be labeled as "marriage" and suggested that it should have been recognized as a civil union, providing similar legal rights and benefits under the law.
“I thought it should have been a civil union. It would have given us the same benefits, the same rights under the law. Making it marriage was never the business of the government."
“I’m not saying I oppose just gay marriage. I oppose marriage by the government in general. To force that on society was a problem. That is why we’re still debating, right?"
Santos' claim that government involvement in marriage, even for opposite-sex couples, is problematic is an argument that conflicts with historical marriage practices and prevailing societal norms. He implied that the issue of marriage equality would not exist if it weren't for government intervention, disregarding the historical context and progression of LGBTQ+ rights in various states.
Santos' inconsistency is striking due to the fact that his marriage was legally sanctioned in New York after the state legalized same-sex marriage in 2011, refuting his claim that his union was not influenced by a court ruling.
Many have called out his hypocrisy in response.
Santos was expelled from the House of Representatives by a vote of 311–114, exceeding the necessary two-thirds majority, on December 1. He is the only Republican ever expelled from the House, and the only representative expelled without first being convicted of a federal crime or having supported the Confederacy during the Civil War.
A damning House Ethics Committee report revealed he spent thousands in campaign funds on a variety of non-campaign-related items, including OnlyFans, Botox, and trips to Atlantic City and the Hamptons. The report alleged Santos had committed "knowing and willful violations" of House financial disclosure rules and filed "false or incomplete reports" with the Federal Election Commission (FEC).
The 56-page report offered extensive evidence indicating Santos’ misuse of campaign funds for personal purposes, fraudulent activities toward donors, and submission of false or incomplete campaign finance and financial disclosure reports.
It further accuses Santos of exploiting his House candidacy for personal financial gain through a series of deceptive tactics, including lies about his background and experience to constituents, donors, and staff.