Santorum says gay marriage signing not last word

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OLYMPIA, Wash. (AP) -- Republican presidential candidate Rick Santorum says Washington state's new gay marriage law is not the final word in the debate.

Santorum said Monday that he is encouraging opponents of same-sex marriage to continue to fight. He held a private meeting in Olympia with a group of gay marriage opponents who are now exploring a referendum to block the new law.

The former Pennsylvania senator's visit to the state capital came within an hour of Gov. Chris Gregoire signing the gay marriage bill. Santorum said the law waters down marriage at a time when divorce rates are already up. He says the consequences of failing to have strong traditional marriages include more people going to prison, more dropouts from school, higher poverty rates and higher government spending.