POLITICS

Rick Santorum: Mitt Romney Is 'To The Left' Of President Obama On Gay Rights

11/14/2011 12:29 pm ET

WASHINGTON -- Former senator Rick Santorum accused fellow presidential hopeful Mitt Romney of being more liberal than President Obama when it comes to same-sex marriage on Tuesday, during an interview on Laura Ingraham's radio show.

"I would argue that Mitt Romney, as governor of Massachusetts, was to the left of Barack Obama on gay marriage," Santorum told Ingraham when asked about how Romney might react to a proposed repeal of the Defense of Marriage Act, a 1996 law defining federal marriage as being between one man and one woman.

"If you want to see the contrast, the contrast is there. [I'm a] solid conservative who stood and fought for [DOMA], opposed to Mitt Romney, who issued gay marriage licenses and actually violated the constitution of Massachusetts to institute gay marriage in the state," he added.

In February, the Obama administration announced it would no longer defend the constitutionality of DOMA, saying the law "contains numerous expressions reflecting moral disapproval of gays and lesbians and their intimate and family relationships -- precisely the kind of stereotype-based thinking and animus the (Constitution's) Equal Protection Clause is designed to guard against."

Romney was governor of Massachusetts when legislation legalizing gay marriage in the state passed in 2004. Soon after, Romney urged local clerks to bar same-sex couples from out of state from obtaining a marriage license, in order to prevent Massachusetts from becoming what he coined "the Las Vegas of same-sex marriages."

Meanwhile, Santorum has been a strong opponent of gay rights, calling Obama's decision to not support the act an "abomination."

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