Rick Santorum, was booed by a crowd of college students in New Hampshire when he brought up his opposition to same-sex marriage, comparing it to polygamy, the Los Angeles Times reported.
Santorum, a GOP presidential hopeful, spoke to an audience of about 200 students at a college convention sponsored by New England College, when a debate about same-sex marriage came up. The audience also included several supporters of his rival, Rep. Ron Paul of Texas and some booed Santorum when he left the stage, CBS News reported.
During the address, questions targeting Santorum’s outspoken stance on same-sex marriage were brought up a few times, leading up to a response that was met with jeers from the crowd.
"Are we saying everyone should have the right to marry? So anyone can marry anyone else?" Santorum asked, the LA Times reported "So anybody can marry several people?"
When he was booed for this comparison, he joked with the crowd, “I’m surprised I got a gay marriage question at a college crowd. Really, that’s a shock to me,” Bloomberg BusinessWeek reported.
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Santorum’s remarks sparked a debate between the Republican candidate and the college students that lasted almost an hour. Initially, he welcomed the exchange with several students, until he tried to move on to other questions and the audience continued to interrupt him and cheer on the questioners, Bloomberg BusinessWeek reported.
"We're going to have a civil discussion or were going to move on to another question," he said at one point, the LA Times reported. Confronted by one critic, he fired back, "What about three men?"
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Santorum then told the crowd he wouldn’t start a shouting match and would only answer questions if the person raised their hand first. As the questions kept coming hecontinued to defend his position.
“Because I believe we are made the way God made man and woman, and man and woman come together to have a union to produce children, which keeps civilization going, and provide the best environment for children to be raised,” Santorum said, Bloomberg BusinessWeek reported. “I think that is something society should value and should give privileged status over a group of people who want to have a relationship together.”
Following this response he moved on from the conversation and switched topics, soon ending his 70-minute session, CBS News reported.
Santorum, a former senator from Pennsylvania, came in second-place in the Iowa caucuses this week, being pushed forward as a front runner in the Republican party.
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