At Thursday's GOP presidential debate, Rick Santorum chided Iran for its lack of gay rights.

Santorum, a former senator from Pennsylvania, gave unsolicited testimony in favor of gay rights while discussing conflicts in Iran.

“And I don't apologize for the Iranian people being free for a long time and now they are under a maleocracy that tramples the rights of women, tramples the rights of gays, tramples the rights of people all throughout their society,” Santorum said.

But later in the same Fox debate, Santorum blasted three Republican contenders – Minnesota Rep. Michele Bachmann, Texas Governor Rick Perry and Texas Rep. Ron Paul – for what he saw as their weak opposition to gay marriage. Bachmann and Perry have said states have the right to decide on the issue but support an amendment to the Constitution that would define marriage as a heterosexual union. Paul said he opposed marriages between members of the same sex, then added that the government had no business regulating marriage: “I mean, why should we have a license to be married?”

“This is the 10th Amendment run amok. Michele Bachmann says that she would go in and fight health care being imposed by states – mandatory health [care] – but she wouldn't fight marriage being imposed by the states. That would be OK. We have Ron Paul saying, 'What the states want to do. Whatever the states want to do under the 10th Amendment is fine.' So, if the states want to pass polygamy, that's fine. If the states want to impose sterilization, that's fine. No, our country is based on morals laws, ladies and gentlemen. There are things the states can't do. Abraham Lincoln said the states do not have the right to do wrong. I respect the 10th Amendment. But we are a nation that has values. We are a nation that was built on a moral enterprise. And states don't have a right to tramp over those because of the 10th Amendment,” Santorum said to thunderous applause.

“You have to fight in each state, and that is where I disagree with Rick Perry; I disagree with Michele Bachmann,” he later stated.