Rick Santorum, Mitt Romney Say They Support Gay Rights

Rick Santorum and Mitt Romney on Sunday said they support gay rights.

Rick Santorum and Mitt Romney on Sunday said they support gay rights.

The GOP presidential candidates made their remarks during an NBC News-Facebook debate broadcast from Concord, New Hampshire on Meet the Press.

Moderator Andy Hiller reminded Romney that he had said in 1994 that “the gay community needs more support from the Republican Party and I would be a voice in the Republican Party to foster anti-discrimination efforts,” then asked: “How have you stood up for gay rights and when have you used your voice to influence Republicans on this issue?”

“I made it very clear we should not discriminate in hiring policies, in legal policies,” Romney answered. “At the same time from the very beginning in 1994, I said to the gay community: I do not favor same-sex marriage. I oppose same-sex marriage and that has been my view.”

“When is the last time you stood up and spoke out for increasing gay rights?” Hiller asked.

“Right now,” Romney answered.

Santorum said he also does not believe in discrimination based on sexual orientation, then added: “That does not mean I would agree with certain things that the gay community would like to do to change laws with respect to marriage, respect to adoption and things like that.”

In a follow up question, Santorum was asked what he would do if one of his sons announced to him that he was gay.

“I would love him as much as I did the second before he said it. And I would try to do everything I can to be as good a father to him as possible.”