Presidential hopeful Rick Santorum has said he believes gay marriage will “destroy the family.”

Speaking with Family Research Council President Tony Perkins during Friday's edition of Today's Issues, Santorum said the destruction of the family was the reason for the left's support of marriage equality.

Perkins noted: “But you see what's behind this with the homosexual activists that they will not rest with simply accommodation but they want to force every state in the nation to change their laws to recognize same-sex marriage.”

“Yeah,” Santorum said. “They want to force their worldview on us and they’re using this idea of 'equality,' which is absurd. This has nothing to do with how two people want to live their lives. It has everything to do with an agenda that is ultimately going to destroy the family, weaken the family and weaken our religious liberties in this country. This is going to transform, you know, the left is very enthusiastic about this agenda because it is an opportunity to get after the things that they see standing in the way of them taking control, more control of your lives, which is the family and the church. And so what better to do that than by destroying the institution of marriage and by saying anybody who opposes them is a bigot and therefore, and that includes people in the clergy.”

Santorum and Perkins are among the gay marriage foes boarding the National Organization for Marriage's (NOM) Values Voters Bus Tour launching today. The bus will criss-cross Iowa before arriving at the Ames Straw Poll on Friday.

(Related: Are Rick Santorum's Abraham Lincoln references comparing gay marriage to slavery?)