Santorum: Gay community on 'jihad' against me for stance on marriage

Republican presidential candidate Rick Santorum said the gay community has "gone out on a jihad" against him for his stance against gay marriage.

"So the gay community said, 'He's comparing gay sex to incest and polygamy, how dare he do this,' and they have gone out on a, I would argue, jihad against Rick Santorum since then," the former senator said at a campaign stop in Spartanburg, S.C., on Friday.

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Santorum (R-Pa.) has been an outspoken critic of both Lawrence v. Texas, a 2003 Supreme Court decision that struck down state sodomy laws, and state laws that allow gay marriage.

"I said, 'This is a napkin. A napkin is what a napkin is. It isn't a paper towel. It isn't a car.' You can call a napkin a car, but it doesn't make it a car. You can call a paper towel a chair, but it doesn't make it a chair. Marriage is what marriage is," Santorum said.

Comments like this have brought particular ire to Santorum from gay community. In 2003, Santorum argued that the "definition of marriage" has never involved "man on child, man on dog, or whatever the case may be." In response, syndicated sex columnist Dan Savage began an online campaign to redefine "santorum" as a sexual neologism; Internet searches for the former Pennsylvania senator's name routinely return websites defining the term before those for the senator himself.

Santorum has struggled to gain traction in the Republican primary; about 50 supporters attended the Spartanburg event. At a campaign stop at the same restaurant two weeks earlier, Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-Minn.) drew 10 times as many supporters. He has also trailed in polling on the race.