Modern Family's Gay Dad Says NO WAY to Rick Santorum Photo

Eric Stonestreet shot down the antigay politician's request during a Washington party.

BY Daniel Reynolds

July 25 2014 12:58 PM ET

Eric Stonestreet, who portrays the gay dad Cam on ABC’s Modern Family, says he refused to pose for a picture with Rick Santorum.

The Emmy-award winning actor said in a HuffPost Live interview that the antigay Republican politician, who has compared same-sex attraction to bestiality, asked him for a picture at a party preceding the White House Correspondents Dinner. Stonestreet, who asserted the annual gala of luminaries from media and politics is his favorite event because “I get to see these people for who they are,” turned him down.

“I have people that you would be shocked that want pictures with me,” he said. “Rick Santorum wanted a picture with me. It was at a time when he was publicly saying, 'Gay marriage, gay marriage [is wrong],' and I'm like, 'You know, I can't do it.’”

“I’d be happy to take a picture with [his] kids,” he added, “but I can't just be in a picture with [him].”

Santorum is a vocal opponent of LGBT rights issues like same-sex marriage and parenting, which are both portrayed on Modern Family in a positive light through the relationship of Stonestreet’s character with Mitch, played by Jesse Tyler Ferguson.

Stonestreet cited Santorum’s request as an example of how the personal beliefs of politicians often do not reflect their public stances on an issue, and even drew a parallel to the entertainment world.

“Like actors, you have a perception of what they are and who they are,” he said. “But their personal life may not have anything to do with their political life, which is a sad thing about our current political systems in this country that people just can’t think what they want to think and not have to toe the company line for their political party.”

In the interview, Stonestreet illustrated how media is helping to sway hearts and minds by referencing a politician who has changed his position on same-sex marriage: President Obama.

"President Obama mentioned in an interview like three weeks ago that, just casually, that Michelle and the kids watch Mitch and Cam and they're in tears," Stonestreet said. "To hear the leader of the free world, the president of the United States, say that and to know we have that sort of reach with people and that the people in power and leadership roles are watching the show [is amazing]."

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