Former Pennsylvania Senator and possible Republican presidential candidate Rick Santorum says he accepts Bruce Jenner as a woman.

In a two-hour ABC special broadcast last week, Jenner told Diane Sawyer that he identifies as female.

(Related: Bruce Jenner says he identifies as female.)

Santorum, a vocal opponent of marriage equality who in 2011 claimed that the gay community has waged jihad against him over his views, discussed Jenner's coming out during a roundtable with reporters at the South Carolina Republican Party's annual convention.

“If he says he's a woman, then he's a woman,” Santorum said. “My responsibility as a human being is to love and accept everybody. Not to criticize people for who they are. I can criticize, and I do, for what people do, for their behavior. But as far as for who they are, you have to respect everybody, and these are obviously complex issues for businesses, for society, and I think we have to look at it in a way that is compassionate and respectful of everybody.”

When asked whether he thinks Jenner should be able to use women's public restrooms, Santorum answered: “So these are tough issues. I haven’t got into the whole issue, and I don’t think the federal government should get into the whole issue of bathrooms. I think those are things that the business community and local agencies and organizations should deal with.”