The Vitter Truth

When David Vitter ran for a seat in the Senate in 2004, he made passage of the Federal Marriage Amendment a centerpiece of his campaign:

We need a U.S. Senator who will stand up for Louisiana values, not Massachusetts’s values.  I am the only Senate Candidate to coauthor the Federal Marriage Amendment; the only one fighting for its passage.

Vitter eagerly signed the Family Research Council’s “Marriage Protection Pledge,” vowing to FRC as well as to the “families of the state of [Louisiana] and to all the American people that I will protect the inviolable definition of marriage.”

And seek to “protect” marriage he did, by regularly speaking passionately about the need for passage of a Constitutional amendment:

Voters in Louisiana and at least 44 other states have shown their support for traditional marriage by voting to protect it. But these laws are being attacked in courts across the country, and activist judges should not be able to suppress the will of the American people. This is why we need a constitutional amendment to protect traditional marriage.

Marriage is a core institution of societies throughout the world and is a bedrock institution for our own society because it has provided permanence and stability for our very social structure.

All of which is undoubtedly making this extremely awkward for him:

Republican Louisiana Sen. David Vitter, whose phone number was linked to Deborah Jeane Palfrey, the so-called “D.C. Madam,” says that he is sorry for a “serious sin” and that he has already made peace with his wife.

Palfrey is awaiting trial on racketeering charges related to a prostitution ring she allegedly ran.

“This was a very serious sin in my past for which I am, of course, completely responsible,” Vitter said Monday evening in a printed statement. “Several years ago, I asked for and received forgiveness from God and my wife in confession and marriage counseling. Out of respect for my family, I will keep my discussion of the matter there with God and them. But I certainly offer my deep and sincere apologies to all I have disappointed and let down in any way.”

Until his disclosure Monday, Vitter had been a rising star in the Republican social conservative movement.