Santorum denounces marriage ruling as Supreme Court decision dominates conservative gathering

Rick Santorum

Rick Santorum

DENVER — Republican presidential hopeful Rick Santorum denounced the landmark same-sex marriage ruling Friday in a fiery speech to about 4,000 conservatives gathered in Denver.

The former Pennsylvania senator told the Western Conservative Summit that the Supreme Court’s decision making same-sex marriage the law of the land is “based on a lie.”

“We have a Supreme Court that says the only reason that you could possibly oppose changing marriage laws in America is because you hate people who want to marry people of the same sex. That is not true,” Santorum said. “It’s a decision based on a lie. Based on fundamental untruths.”

Santorum said he predicted a decade ago that gay marriage would be law nationwide without an amendment to the U.S. Constitution. He stopped short of calling for a fresh effort to amend the Cponstitution, but he said the nation needs to “heal” from the decision.

“My heart aches tonight. My heart aches tonight because that family unit has further been assaulted,” Santorum said.

The crowd applauded Santorum’s remarks and gave him a standing ovation. Santorum won Colorado‘s GOP presidential caucuses in 2012 and 2008.

Santorum is one of six presidential hopefuls in Denver this weekend addressing the Western Conservative Summit.

Colorado’s presidential preference primaries are nonbinding and play little role in either party. But Colorado is a key battleground state in general elections, and presidential candidates frequently test campaign themes here.

Addressing the conference Saturday are Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker and former Texas Gov. Rick Perry. Rounding out the slate are businesswoman Carly Fiorina, former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee and neurosurgeon Ben Carson.

Republican Sen. Rand Paul is visiting Colorado next week.

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Outside Santorum’s remarks Friday, the Colorado Log Cabin Republicans manned a free booth given to them by the state party.

The gay Republican group sought to buy a booth from the Western Conservative Summit, organized by Colorado Christian University. The school denied their request, prompting the state party to invite them to share their booth.

“We really are part of the Republican Party, and we want to be part of the conversation,” said Log Cabin Republicans member Jeff Bjorlin.

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