Appearing Wednesday on ABC's The View, Republican presidential candidate Rick Santorum conceded that gay and lesbian couples can make good parents.

When openly gay co-host Raven-Symoné asked Santorum to explain his opposition to marriage equality, the politician answered that it was not in the best interest of children or society.

“The whole purpose of marriage is to encourage – for society to encourage men and women to come together to form permanent bonds for the benefit of each other … But the greater purpose of marriage that society has always valued is to bring men and women together so when they have children, there's a permanent bond by which those children can be raised by their natural mother and natural father.”

“When you have a law that says, as the court said, that marriage has nothing to do with children anymore. What you're going to have is – you're not going to have a society encouraging the behavior that is in the best interest of children and the future of society.”

Raven-Symoné followed up by asking Santorum, a vocal opponent of LGBT rights, why he thought that LGBT people can't raise “a very beautiful, smart, intelligent child.”

I'm not saying that a same-sex couple can't have a very positive and nurturing environment,” Santorum responded.

But,” he continued, “the natural mother and natural father of that child is what historically, and I think sociologically we look at today, is in the best interest of that child to be raised by their natural mother and natural father. It's in the best interest of their parents to raise them.”