Rick Santorum's wife came to his defense, and Santorum elaborated on his opposition to gay marriage, when a South Carolina supporter asked him how she should explain her presidential preference to her gay son.
"My youngest son is gay," said an emotional mother from Greenville, S.C. "I debated for the longest time how to handle my support of you, because what he's been hearing is, 'oh, Rick Santorum hates gays.'" She added that she has a "sense of guilt [for supporting Santorum], because his friends react to what they hear -- help me," she said. "How do I deal with that?"
Karen Santorum, Rick's wife, answered first. "I think it's very sad what the gay activists have done out there; they vilify him, and it's so wrong," she said. "Rick does not hate anyone." Mrs. Santorum noted that opponents "can't even find one example" of her husband hating gay people.
Rick Santorum cast his opposition gay marriage as a "public policy difference," lamenting that "some see that public policy difference as a personal assault."
"There's all sorts of other relationships that people have, and they are valuable relationships -- whether they are amorous relationships or friendship relationships or familial relationships -- they're all important, they all have value they allshould be affirmed," Santorum added. "But that does not mean that we should change the laws to order -- to create an atmosphere where children and families are not being promoted."
The mother noted that her son, though gay, does not have a problem with Santorum's opposition to gay marriage because he doesn't support gay marriage either. She was primarily concerned about the perception that Santorum hates gay people.