Michele Bachmann told two students in Iowa on Wednesday that gay people are free to marry, so long as they marry people of the opposite gender, the Des Moines Register reported.

During an appearance at The Pizza Ranch, Bachmann debated gay rights with two Waverly High School students as a crowd of roughly 65 Bachmann supporters listened in.

Bachmann prefaced her remarks by saying that Americans have “really forgotten what true tolerance means.”

“Everyone is welcome here. But that doesn't mean that we squelch people's speech that have religious-based values either. And we need to allow people to speak.”

Jane Schmidt, the president of her school's Gay-Straight Alliance, asked Bachmann what she would do as president to protect GSAs and support the gay community.

“Well, number 1, all of us as Americans have the same rights. The same civil rights. And so that's really what government's role is, to protect our civil rights. There shouldn't be any special rights or special set of criteria based upon people's preferences. We all have the same civil rights.”

“Then, why can't same-sex couples get married?”

“They can get married, but they abide by the same law as everyone else. They can marry a man, if they're a woman. Or they can marry a woman, if they're a man,” Bachmann answered.

“Why can't a man marry a man?” Schmidt asked.

“Because that's not the law of the land.”

(Gay and lesbian couples can marry in Iowa, five other states and the District of Columbia.)

“So heterosexual couples have a privilege.”

“No, they have the same opportunity under the law. There is no right to same-sex marriage.”

“So you won't support the LGBT community?”

“No, I said that there are no special rights for people based upon your sex practices,” Bachmann said. “There's no special rights based upon what you do in your sex life. You're an American citizen first and foremost and that's it.”