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Rick Santorum Quotes 'God Hates Fags' When Discussing Religious Freedom Laws

04/06/2015 10:57 am ET | Updated Feb 02, 2016

Rick Santorum cited the Westboro Baptist Church's "God Hates Fags" slogan while defending Indiana's Religious Freedom Restoration Act this weekend.

"Tolerance is a two-way street," Santorum said on CBS' "Face the Nation" Sunday. "If you’re a print shop and you are a gay man, should you be forced to print ‘God Hates Fags’ for the Westboro Baptist Church because they hold those signs up? And this is really the case here: Should the government force you to do that? And that’s what these cases are all about. This is about the government coming in and saying, ‘No we’re gonna make you do this.’ And this is where I think we just need some space to say, ‘Let’s have some tolerance be a two-way street.'”

Westboro Baptist is notorious for holding signs emblazoned with "God Hates Fags" and remarks about sodomy when picketing at funerals or outside businesses and venues.

The former Pennsylvania senator defended the original language of Indiana's highly contested legislation, which was criticized for promoting discrimination because it allows individuals and businesses to cite their religious beliefs as a defense when sued by a private party.

Santorum said the law was not about discrimination against individuals for who they are, but rather support for business owners to abstain from activities based on ideology.

"Obviously attitudes in this country change and when those attitudes change, we run into a whole bunch of new issues," he said, referring to the national shift to acceptance of same-sex marriage. "And so the question is how do we deal with that in respecting people on both sides of the issues? And I think that's where you have to differentiate between discrimination against the person because of who they are and discrimination and ... unwillingness to participate in actions because they're inconsistent with your religious beliefs."

Santorum has long aired his grievances against same-sex marriage. In June, he said such unions lead to less marriages, "families that aren’t as strong" and a suffering economy.

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