Former Pennsylvania Senator and GOP presidential hopeful Rick Santorum has denied he's a homophobe.

During a Joy Behar Show segment featuring Don Lemon's recent self-outing, Behar said Santorum “seems like a big homophobe.”

During an interview on WOR radio's The Steve Malzberg Show, Santorum denied the claim.

When Malzberg asked, “Where does she get that you are a homophobe?” Santorum suggested the media was attacking him because he opposes gay marriage.

“Yeah, ’cause I, I guess because you stand for traditional marriage and you believe that, you know, that people should, we should have a society that affirms one man and one woman as marriage, that makes you someone who’s a hater, someone that doesn’t, doesn’t like people. I disagree with people, by the way, who are gay and straight who believe in changing the marriage laws. But it’s a public policy discussion, and this is the, this is really the problem that we see on the left which is the personalization of politics. I mean, we have a policy disagreement, and, and which I am very passionate about. I admit that. Because I do believe the family, integrity of the family is important for the future of our country. But that does not mean that, that I don’t like people or I hate people or that there’s something wrong. The only thing that’s wrong is their opinion.”

Santorum also denied he's homophobic in February, saying he has gay friends.

But Santorum, who also opposes gay adoption and supports the reinstatement of “Don't Ask, Don't Tell,” created a firestorm of controversy in 2003 when he likened gay unions to “man on dog.”

Santorum “compared people in stable, loving same-sex relationships to dog fuckers and kiddie rapists,” gay rights activist Dan Savage recently said. He “would make gay and straight sodomy illegal, ban gay marriage and any other protections for same-sex couples, and prevent loving same-sex couples from adopting children who need homes.”

In January, Santorum said opposition to gay rights is “common sense.”