‘Modern Family’ Star Refuses To Have Picture Taken With Homophobe Rick Santorum

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Even politicians can get a little starstruck around celebrities. But beware: if you’re the kind of politician who bashes gay people on a regular basis, asking an actor who has publicly supported gay rights and plays one on TV may get you the cold shoulder.

According to Modern Family’s Eric Stonestreet, Republican presidential nominee also-ran Rick Santorum was at the White House Correspondents Dinner and approached him for a picture with himself and his kids. Stonestreet, who’s character on the show is openly gay, said it was never going to happen.

Speaking with HuffPost Live, he said of the incident:

“It was at a time when he was publicly saying, ‘Gay marriage, gay marriage’ and I’m like, ‘You know, I can’t do it.”

But Stonestreet wasn’t about to ruin Santorum’s children’s opportunity just because their father is an unapologetic homophobe. He offered to have a picture taken with just them, asking Rick to stay out of frame.

“It was with him and his kids or something like that, and I said, ‘I’d be happy to take a picture with the kids,’ but I can’t just be in a picture with you.”

Stonestreet added that he is continually shocked by who (Republican and Democrat) say they love Modern Family and count themselves as fans. He pointed out that just recently President Barack Obama had mentioned in an interview that his daughters love his character, Cam, and the relationship he has with his husband, Mitch (played by Jesse Tyler Ferguson, who unlike Stonestreet, is actually gay).

When asked whether he felt his character has had an impact on gay rights in this country, he said he believed that “we are having an impact” by “normalizing” the idea of same-sex couples.

Stonestreet certainly has reason to think that. Through Mitch and Cam, Modern Family has explored many of the topics that affect gay Americans today. The two address the difficulties of navigating multigenerational families with different – not always tolerant – sensibilities about gay relationships. They’ve adopted a daughter together and now, reflecting the increasing amount of states that allow same-sex marriages, they even tied the knot.

On the other hand, Santorum has built his entire career on his opposition to gay rights. He once bragged about the time he told a lesbian couple that adoption was a “privilege” and not one that gay people should have. He has consistently opposed the idea that gay couples should be allowed to marry arguing that it would destroy the sanctity of marriage and lead to marriage being ruined for everybody. Infamously, he suggested that if gay people were allowed to have sex, it would lead to “man on child, man on dog, or whatever the case may be.” Santorum is about the least gay-friendly politician in the country.

In a sense, Mitch and Cam represent everything a politician like Rick Santorum fears – and, even better, they are damn funny while doing it.

Watch the full interview via Huffington Post below: