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Rick Santorum tells boy: "Friends don't let friends use pink balls"

WASHINGTON – At a campaign event at a bowling alley in Wisconsin on Wednesday, GOP presidential hopeful Rick Santorum told a boy who reached for a pink bowling ball: “You’re not gonna use the pink ball. We're not gonna let you do that. Not on camera.”

Santorum went on to say “Friends don’t let friends use pink balls.” The comments were tweeted by Reuters reporter Sam Youngman.

“This is another example of Rick Santorum intentionally making ignorant statements that have a real impact on LGBT people,” said Fred Sainz, HRC vice president of communications.

“Whether he’s comparing our marriages to inanimate objects, saying our children would be better off with a parent in prison as opposed to two loving same-sex parents, or calling open military service a ‘tragic social experiment;’ he’s proven that he thinks LGBT people are second-class citizens not worthy of dignity or respect. In this case, he’s advancing tired gender norms by implying a boy should be ashamed or embarrassed to use a certain color bowling ball,” said Sainz, a former spokesman for San Diego Mayor Jerry Sanders.

Santorum’s anti-LGBT record speaks for itself: in addition to his frequent and vitriolic remarks about issues like marriage equality or LGBT families, he consistently voted against workplace protections while serving in the U.S. Senate, and was an early and vocal supporter of the discriminatory Defense of Marriage Act.

“Kids have enough to worry about,” Sainz said. “They don’t need Rick Santorum telling them that using a pink bowling ball is a bad thing.”