Mitt Romney, Rick Perry Confronted By Gay Veterans
This week, both Mitt Romney and Rick Perry had embarrassing confrontations with gay veterans who challenged the presidential candidates’ opposition to same-sex marriage and homosexuals in the military.
Romney was touring a diner in New Hampshire when he sat down at the booth of Bob Garon, a 63-year-old wearing a red flannel shirt and Vietnam Veteran cap. After confirming that Romney opposes gay marriage, Garon began to lambast the ex-governor, especially for denying benefits to the same-sex spouses of service members.
“Good luck, you’re gonna need it,” said Garon as Romney was spirited away by aides.
When pressed by reporters, Garon explained why he was so passionate about the issue:
“Because I’m gay, all right?” he said. “And I happen to love a man just like you probably love your wife.”
Garon was sitting in a booth with his husband, whom he said he married in June.
“I went and fought for my country and I think my spouse should be entitled to the same [benefits as they would] if I were married to a woman,” he said. “What the hell is the difference?”
[via ABC News]
Earlier in the week, Rick Perry was heckled by gay protestors as he exited Saturday night’s debate in Iowa. One protestor was 24-year-old Marine veteran Jason Arment. According to CNN, Arment asked Perry, “Why can’t gays compete in the military?”
The article also says that Arment “attracted some jeers and retorts” from the crowd.
Gay service members have been effective and divisive activists for years now. In 2007, an openly gay, retired Brigadier General confronted republican presidential candidates at a “YouTube debate”, demanding to know why they would not allow homosexuals to serve openly.
And last September, in another YouTube video played at a Republican debate, Army Capt. Stephen Hill asked if any of the candidates planned to reinstate the “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy. The audience booed the openly gay soldier, who was on active duty in Iraq.