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Rick Santorum Bemoans Gay Soldiers Who 'Shower With People' (VIDEO)

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WASHINGTON -- Republican presidential candidate Rick Santorum doubled down on his recent comments opposing allowing gay soldiers to serve in the U.S. military, invoking the image of soldiers showering together to explain his support for reinstating the discriminatory "don't ask, don't tell" policy.

"The problem is that sexual activity with people who you are in close quarters with who happen to be of the same sex is different than being open about your sexuality," Santorum said on "Fox News Sunday."

Fox host Chris Wallace pushed back, asking Santorum if he was suggesting gay soldiers would "go after" their colleagues.

"They're in close quarters, they live with people, they obviously shower with people," Santorum said, saying the presence of gay soldiers could have an adverse "effect on retention and recruitment."

Wallace played a clip of Santorum insisting during a recent Republican primary debate that the repeal of "don't ask, don't tell" was an improper injection of "social policy" into the armed forces. Wallace then presented a quote from a former military official to Santorum and asked whether he agreed with its basic idea: "The army is not a sociological laboratory. ... Experiments ... are a danger to efficiency, discipline and morale and would result in ultimate defeat."

Santorum, looking uncomfortable, said that he did agree with the general idea of the statement. Wallace then revealed that the quote was from Colonel E.R. Householder, a World War II-era official whose comments were made in opposition to the racial integration of the military.

Santorum responded by attempting to distinguish between racial discrimination and discrimination based on sexual orientation, denouncing the former, while insisting the latter is an acceptable condemnation of inappropriate "behavior."

"It's not the same thing," Santorum said. "You are black by the color of your skin. You are not homosexual, necessarily, by the color of your skin."

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