POLITICS
10/25/2011 12:27 pm ET Updated Dec 25, 2011

Rick Santorum Blasts Gay Marriage Supporters, Defends Support For Anti-Sodomy Laws

Republican presidential candidate Rick Santorum touted his support for anti-sodomy laws and said gay marriage supporters wanted to "drive faith out of the public square" in an interview with controversial preacher Bradlee Dean, founder of You Can Run But You Cannot Hide International, a Christian punk-rock youth ministry based in Minnesota.

"And I stood up from the very beginning back in 2003 when the Supreme Court was going create a constitutional right to sodomy and said this is wrong we can't do this," said Santorum, according to the Minnesota Independent. "And so I stood up when no one else did and got hammered for it. I stood up and I continue to stand up."

In 2003, then-Sen. Santorum (R-Pa.) defended anti-sodomy laws in an interview with the Associated Press because "they were there for a purpose." He added, in a quote that became infamous, "In every society, the definition of marriage has not ever to my knowledge included homosexuality. That's not to pick on homosexuality. It's not, you know, man on child, man on dog, or whatever the case may be." Santorum then developed a "Google problem" with the highest search results for his name linking back to a page created by gay rights activist and author Dan Savage associating his name with a sexual neologism.

Santorum later wrote in a 2003 USA Today op-ed, "the greatest near-term consequence of the Lawrence v. Texas anti-sodomy ruling could be the legalization of homosexual marriage." The Court struck down a Texas anti-sodomy statute, overruling a 1986 ruling upholding a similar Georgia statue.

"This is not about gay marriage, it is about changing what is right and wrong and fundamentally changing what people of faith can say and do in society," said Santorum to Dean. "The ultimate objective here is to drive faith out of the public square, to drive morality out of the laws of this country, to secularize our society with a different set of values."

Santorum said recently that he would "die on that hill" fighting same-sex marriage. He has polled in low single-digits nationally in recent Republican primary polls.

Dean himself has made numerous controversial comments about homosexuality, including saying executing homosexuals is moral and alleging that Thomas Jefferson and George Washington wanted to make homosexuality illegal.

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