Washington: Mitt Romney, the likely Republican candidate in this year`s US presidential election, has rejected the legitimacy of same-sex marriage, BBC reported.
"Marriage is a relationship between one man and one woman," Romney told graduates at Liberty University, a Christian college in Lynchburg, Virginia.
Romney, a Mormon by religion, was given a standing ovation.
President Barack Obama, fighting for re-election in November, announced his support for gay marriage earlier this week.
Addressing the graduation ceremony, Romney avoided talking about his own faith but stressed the importance of Christian values in American society.
"There is no greater force for good in the nation than Christian conscience in action," he said.
While Romney opposed gay marriage, he said same-sex couples should have some rights, including the ability to adopt children.