The creator of the It Gets Better campaign, Dan Savage, has hit back at the Republican candidate Rick Santorum after the later offered to “pray for” the gay rights hero in an interview.

Mr Santorum told Clear Religion: “I would tell him [Savage] that I’m praying for him. He obviously has some serious issues. You look at someone like that who can say and do the things that he’s doing and you just pray for him and hopefully he can find peace.”

Mr Savage launched the hugely successful It Gets Better project to combat LGBT teenage suicide which has featured major figures ranging from Lady Gaga to president Obama.

He also launched a tongue in cheek campaign back in 2003 to redefine ‘Santorum’ on Google as “the frothy mix of lube and fecal matter that is sometimes the byproduct of anal sex.”

Responding to Mr Santorum’s offer to pray for the columnist and campaigner, Mr Savage told MotherJones.com: “Rick Santorum thinks that women who have been raped should be compelled—by force of law—to carry the babies of their rapists to term, he thinks birth control should be illegal, he wants to prosecute pornographers, etc., etc., basically the guy wants to be president so that he can micromanage the sex lives of all Americans…and I’m the one with issues? Because I made a dirty joke at his expense eight or nine years ago and it stuck? I’m the one with issues? Rick can pray for me. I’ll gay for him. And we can call it even.”

Last month, activists created a portrait of the Republican candidate made entirely out of gay pornography.