Rick Santorum has said he opposes gay marriage because the relationships of gay and lesbian couples do not benefit society.

The 53-year-old Santorum made his remarks on Friday during a campaign stop at William Woods University in Fulton, Missouri.

When asked by a gay man why he didn't deserve the right to marry, Santorum explained that such relationships are not beneficial to society.

Santorum said gay people should not be discriminated against, then added: “But that doesn't mean you're entitled to special treatment under the law.”

Marriage, Santorum insisted, was not a right a but privilege.

“It's something that has existed since the beginning of human history. … Men and women come together for the purposes of forming a natural relationship as God made it to be. And for the purposes of having children and continuing that civilization. It is an intrinsic good. … And as a result of that, we extend a privilege. We extend certain privileges to people who do that, because we want to encourage that behavior.”

“Two people who may like each other or may love each other who are same-sex, is that a special relationship? Yes it is, but it is not the same relationship that benefits society like a marriage between a man and a woman.” (The video is embedded in the right panel of this page. Visit our video library for more videos.)