Republican presidential candidate Rick Santorum’s wife, Karen, on Monday accused the gay community of vilifying her husband.
At an event with mothers in South Carolina, a woman, who said her son was gay, told the candidate that she felt guilty for supporting him due to his opposition to gay rights.
“I still have that sense of guilt because his friends react to what they hear,” the woman explained. “Help me. How do I deal with that?”
Karen Santorum spoke up in defense of her husband.
“As Rick’s wife, I have known him and loved him for 23 years,” she said. “I think it’s very sad what the gay activists have done out there. They vilify him. It is so wrong. He loves them. What he has simply said is marriage shouldn’t happen.”
“As far as hating, it’s very unfortunate that has happened,” Karen Santorum added. “A lot of it is backyard bullying, where people will come up to us and they’ll say something. And we’ll ask them to give us an example, and they can’t even provide one example as to why they took the position they took.”
After Santorum compared homosexuality to “man on child, man on dog, or whatever the case may be” in an interview with The Associated Press in 2003, gay activist Dan Savage created a website redefining the former Pennsylvania senator’s last name as “the frothy mixture of lube and fecal matter that is sometimes the by-product of anal sex.”
For years, Google has returned Savage’s website as the top search result for “Santorum.”
“The Internet allows for this type of vulgarity to circulate,” the candidate complained to Roll Call last year. “It’s unfortunate that we have someone who obviously has some issues. But he has an opportunity to speak.”
Speaking to CafeMom’s “Moms Matter 2012″ on Monday, Santorum said he was “doing what I’m called to do, which is to love everyone and accept everybody.”
“This is a public policy difference,” he said. “And I think the problem is that some see that public policy difference as a personal assault, that because I believe that marriage, which has existed before governments existed — marriage existed from the very beginning of time — it’s the way we were meant to be.”