Gay rights groups called yesterday for Senate Republicans to repudiate remarks by Sen. Rick Santorum (R-Pa.) comparing homosexuality to bigamy, polygamy, incest and adultery.

Santorum made the remarks in an interview with the Associated Press about a Supreme Court case challenging the constitutionality of a Texas law against sodomy.

"If the Supreme Court says that you have the right to consensual [gay] sex within your home, then you have the right to bigamy, you have the right to polygamy, you have the right to incest, you have the right to adultery. You have the right to anything," Santorum said, according to the AP.

Santorum spokeswoman Erica Clayton Wright said the quote was accurate "only in the context related specifically to the right to privacy in the Supreme Court case." The senator, she said, "has no problem with gay, lesbian, bisexual or transgender individuals."

The Human Rights Campaign, a Washington-based gay rights organization, joined several Pennsylvania groups -- including the Philadelphia-based Center for Lesbian and Gay Civil Rights and the Pennsylvania Log Cabin Republicans -- in calling for Republicans to remove Santorum from his leadership position.

Santorum is chairman of the Senate Republican Conference, the party's number three post.

"These remarks certainly do not reflect the tone of compassionate conservatism espoused by President Bush," said John Partain, president of the Philadelphia chapter of Log Cabin Republicans. "He's out of step with mainstream Republicans. He's aligning himself with the fringe right-wing extremists of the party."

The gay rights groups likened Santorum's remarks to those last December by Sen. Trent Lott (R-Miss.) extolling Strom Thurmond's 1948 segregationist presidential campaign. Accused of racism, Lott was forced to resign as majority leader.

"For the second time in a matter of months, we see a senior Republican leader in the Senate disparaging an entire group of Americans," said HRC spokesman David Smith. "While we welcome his spokeswoman's clarification that he has no problem with gay people, it's analogous to saying, 'I have no problem with Jewish people or black people, I just don't think they should be equal under the law.' "

Gay rights groups said Rick Santorum, center, should lose his leadership post for equating homosexuality with incest and polygamy.