WATCH: Santorum: 'Will & Grace' Leads to Destruction of Our Nation

By Trudy Ring

Originally published on Advocate.com October 18 2013 2:25 PM ET

Legalizing same-sex marriage will be “the destruction of our republic,” and Will & Grace started us down this path, says former U.S. senator and onetime presidential aspirant Rick Santorum.

Santorum made the remarks at the recent Midwest Republican Leadership Conference in Kansas City, Mo. He said that even with the sexual revolution of the 1960s, no one considered expanding the definition of marriage beyond male-female unions until Will & Grace came along with its sympathetic portrayals of gay men and their straight female friends. (Actually, same-sex couples have been seeking marriage rights since at least the 1970s, long before the sitcom’s premiere in 1998.) Due to the influence of that show and subsequent pop-culture phenomena, “the needle started to move,” he said.

He said young people are reluctant to speak out against marriage equality because they “have been beaten up” by those who consider such resistance an act of hate. He also predicted that Christian opposition to marriage equality will soon be suppressed as hate speech. “I don’t think the Supreme Court is going to tolerate and give tax-exempt status to haters,” he said.

While some are calling on Republicans to embrace marriage equality, Santorum said, “For the Republican Party to even contemplate going along with this is the destruction of our republic.” Watch video of his comments below, courtesy of Right Wing Watch.