Republican presidential candidate Rick Santorum on Wednesday told a young man not to use a pink ball at a bowling alley in Wisconsin.


"You're not gonna use the pink ball. We're not gonna let you do that. Not on camera," he said, according to Reuters reporter Sam Youngman.

"Friends don’t let friends use pink balls," he added.

Santorum was bowling with the University of Wisconsin at La Crosse College Republicans. Wisconsin holds its presidential primary next Tuesday.

The Human Rights Campaign, the largest lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender advocacy group in the country, blasted Santorum for his comment.

“This is another example of Rick Santorum intentionally making ignorant statements that have a real impact on LGBT people,” said HRC Vice President of Communications Fred Sainz. “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."