Huffpost Politics

Rick Santorum: Gay Marriage Would Make Our Country Fall

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Rick Santorum believes that gay marriage could doom the U.S.

"We have to fight the battles in the states," he said Saturday night at Iowa's Thanksgiving Family Forum (hat tip: ThinkProgress). "We cannot defer. We can't say, 'The 10th Amendment, they can do what they want.' This is too important for that. There's a basic and central value. The family is the bedrock of our society. Unless we protect it with the institution of marriage, our country will fall."

The event was sponsored by a Christian group called the Family Leader and held at the First Federated Church in Des Moines. SIx GOP candidates reiterated their opposition to abortion and same-sex marriage. Mitt Romney, whose mixed record on these issues has plagued his candidacy, was absent.

Santorum told the crowd that, like his opponent Michele Bachmann, a personal experience helped cement his pro-life views. He got emotional as he talked about his youngest daughter, Bella, who was born with a life-threatening chromosomal defect.

"I decided the best thing I could do was to treat her differently and not love her like I did because it wouldn't hurt as much if I’d lost her," he said as he wiped away tears.

It is not the first time Santorum has brought his brand of family values to Iowa, which became the third state to legalize gay marriage in 2009.

While campaigning in Iowa last week, a Gary Johnson supporter asked him whether he felt he could really "turn back the clock" on gay marriage progress.

"Yeah, I do," he said.

CORRECTION: An earlier version of the story misquoted Santorum as saying "our country will fail." He said "our country will fall."

Santorum has a long history of telling people how they should have sex. Here are some highlights:

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