Former Pennsylvania senator and 2012 GOP presidential candidate Rick Santorum has warned that Republican support for the legalization of gay marriage would lead to America's destruction.

Appearing at the Midwest Republican Leadership Conference last month, Santorum told attendees that the Supreme Court's recent decision striking down the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), which led to federal recognition of the legal marriages of gay and lesbian couples, will eventually lead to Christian prosecutions.

“We have hate crimes in this country,” Santorum stated, “for hate speech. It's coming. This isn't about tolerance. We tolerate. Christians are the most tolerant people in the world. Tolerance is different than approval. We love everyone. We know everybody sins. We know we all fall short. And that's what we tolerate, because we know we all fall short. But to go and change the foundation and say that because we hold these views we are now the haters, and we are not going to be tolerated, changes every thing. And so for the Republican Party to even contemplate going along with this is the destruction of our republic.”

(Related: Rick Santorum hints at 2016 presidential run.)