The White House said GOP Sen. Rick Santorum (search) is doing a good job as party leader and is "an inclusive man," despite his controversial remarks on homosexuality.

"The president has confidence in the senator and believes he's doing a good job as senator" and in his No. 3 Senate GOP leadership post, White House spokesman Ari Fleischer (searchsaid Friday.

In a recent interview with The Associated Press, Santorum compared homosexuality to bigamy, polygamy, incest and adultery. He also said the right to privacy does not exist in the Constitution.

"The president believes the senator is an inclusive man. And that's what he believes," Fleischer said.

His statement brought criticism from the Human Rights Campaign (search), a lesbian and gay advocacy organization.

"If this is how the president defines inclusion, then it clearly calls into question the depth of compassion in his conservatism," said executive director Elizabeth Birch.

The White House also expressed confidence last winter in the leadership of Sen. Trent Lott, R-Miss., in the immediate aftermath of his defense of a 1948 pro-segregation presidential ticket. President Bush later admonished Lott for his remarks and said it was up to the Senate to decide whether he should remain as majority leader.

Lott resigned the leadership position soon after. About Santorum, Fleischer said the Senate picks its leaders.