Rick Santorum on Friday said he objects to gay marriage because it would lead to the normalization of “same-sex values.”

The 53-year-old Santorum made his remarks during a presidential forum on education hosted by the University of Northern Iowa in Cedar Falls, Iowa.

Santorum told the students that the legalization of gay marriage would expose the children of parents who oppose homosexuality to gay relationships in the school curriculum.

“One of the impacts of same-sex marriage is the normalization or inoculation of normalization of same-sex values,” Santorum said.

Roughly 100 people attended the forum, the Cedar Falls Patch reported.

Santorum also criticized the federal government's role in education.

“Education has been, since the industrial revolution, very top down,” he said. “One hundred years ago schools were basically run by parents and communities. Now, the government needs to get in as soon as it can to influence the educational lives of children.”

“President Obama doesn't know the names of your children. How dare we say he knows what's best for them?”

(Related: Rick Santorum: gay marriage would deny kids a mother and a father.)