The candidate reportedly told a young man at the venue to avoid using the femininely-colored ball after he saw him reach for it, even emphasizing that the boy should not want to be caught holding it on camera.
"You're not going to use the pink ball. We're not gonna let you do that. Not on camera," Santorum said, according to Youngman's report.
Santorum later told another reporter that, "Friends don't let friend's use pink bowling balls."
The exact age of the young man in question was not specified by Youngman.
Santorum was bowling with the University of Wisconsin at La Crosse's College Republicans. Wisconsin is holding its presidential primary next Tuesday.
"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 in a statement. "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."
Santorum is a very conservative Catholic who has been unafraid to voice his opinions when it comes to same-sex relationships and marriage. The former senator was targeted by the columnist Dan Savage in 2003 after he compared gay marriage to bestiality, a move that led to a famous "Google bomb" from supporters that related Santorum's name to a sex act.
Santorum has also previously compared gay marriage to polygamy, has called the repeal of Don't Ask Don't Tell as a "tragic social experimentation" with the U.S. military, and implied that children are better off having a father in prison than being raised by lesbian parents.
The incident occurred the day after the Human Rights Campaign released previously confidential documents outlining the National Organization for Marriage's strategy to use race baiting techniques as a means of derailing marriage equality efforts and dividing Democratic constituencies.
The documents also reveal that Santorum -- who signed the organization's marriage pledge last year -- agreed to help the group engage activists and fundraising for their anti-LGBT causes.
|Liveleak on Facebook|