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Iowans Clobber Bachmann, Perry on Gay Issues (Again!)

by Jason St. Amand
National News Editor
Monday Dec 19, 2011

The current GOP presidential hopefuls have not had an easy time during their campaigns when it comes to LGBT issues. A number of Americans have publicly confronted the politicians on their ant-gay views, resulting in some heated debates. Apparently, Hawkeyes aren't having it. The only state outside of the Northeast to have legalized gay marriage is living up to its reputation as socially liberal.

While visiting Iowa this weekend, Rick Perry was once again called out for his stance on repealing the Don't Ask Don't Tell Act. This time he was confronted by a 14-year-old bisexual student.

Rebecka Green, a high school student from Decorah, Iowa, a small city 15 miles south of the Minnesota-Iowa border, asked the Texas Governor to explain why he believes that gays should not openly serve in the military, reported ABC News in a Dec. 18 article.

"I just want to know why you're so opposed to gays serving openly in the military, why you want to deny them that freedom when they're fighting and dying for your right to run for president," Rebecka Green, asked Perry.

"Here's my issue. This is about my faith, and I happen to think, you know, there are a whole host of sins," Perry replied.

"Homosexuality being one of them, and I'm a sinner and so I'm not going to be the first one to throw a stone. I don't agree that openly gays should be serving in the military. 'Don't Ask, Don't Tell' was working and my position is just like I told a guy yesterday, he said, 'How would you feel if one of your children was gay?' I said I'd feel the same way.

"I hate the sin, but I love the sinner, but having them openly serve in the military, I happen to think as a commander-in-chief of some 20,000 plus people in the military is not good public policy, and this president was forced by his base to change that policy and I don't think it was good policy, and I don't think people in the military thought it was good policy."

After Perry explained his reasoning, Green told the media that she does not agree with him.

"I'm openly bisexual and I don't want to be told that if I wanted to serve in the military that I couldn't, and I just think that policy is completely ridiculous that he thinks that. I just don't like it," Green said. "Him or nobody should be able to tell somebody who they can or can't love."

The student's father, Todd Green, a Democrat and professor of religion at Luther College, took his daughter's side and called Perry a hypocrite, saying that gay men and women can fight for the freedom for Perry to run for president but would not have the freedom to openly be who they are.

"My daughter Rebecka particularly was very incensed by the ad Gov. Perry ran a week or two ago here in Iowa where he complained about the problem of gays serving openly in the military but Christians not being able to celebrate Christmas openly. He seemed to get that backwards," Rebecka's father said.

Two weeks ago, Perry released a video ad titled "Strong." In the ad, Perry slams gays for serving openly in the military. The video is one of the most "disliked" videos on the website and has resulted in a number of parody videos.

This isn't the first time Perry has been publicly confronted for his anti-gay views. EDGE reported in a Dec. 13 article that when the GOP candidate finished giving a speech in Iowa last week, an audience member yelled out, "Why do you hate gay people so much?" Another heckler screamed, "Why are you demonizing gay and lesbian people?"

An Iowan voter also confronted Michele Bachmann last weekend, CNN reported in a Dec. 18 article.

While the GOP candidate and her husband Marcus were campaigning at an Iowa pizza restaurant a woman approached the couple and asked Bachmann to sign her sign that said, "Gay-friendly Iowan."

"I was wondering if you would sign my sign?" Kathy Schnell, asked the GOP candidate.

"Gay-friendly Iowan?" Bachmann asked as she signed Schnell's sign.

"I wonder if you're aware that 10 percent of the population is gay," Schnell asked. "And if you have 28 children, then 2.8 of those kids are very likely gay."

It appeared that Bachmann tried to avoid Schnell's question by saying hello to other people but when Schnell said that the politician was not listening to her, it elicited a response from Bachmann.

"Well, that's according to the Kinsey Report," the GOP candidate replied. The Kinsey Report are two books by Dr. Alfred Kinsey about human sexual behavior that were published in the 40s and 50s.

Bachmann's husband chimed in, told the Iowan voter that her facts were wrong, and said, "It's been a myth for many years." The couple then moved on to talk to other people at a different table.

Earlier in the month Michele Bachmann was confronted by two high school students from Iowa, who challenged the politician's views on gay marriage, EDGE reported in a Dec. 7 article.

In addition, Bachmann was called out by an 8-year-old boy during one of her book signings. The child walked up to her and said, "Miss Bachmann, my mommy's gay but she doesn't need any fixing."

Bachmann quickly dismissed the boy.

The Perry and Bachmann aren't the only politicians who have been feeling pressure from the LGBT community. When Mitt Romney was visiting New Hampshire last week, an openly gay Vietnam veteran asked if Romney would support efforts to repeal the New Hampshire law that legalized gay marriage in the state, EDGE reported.

Romney said he would back the repeal. The veteran, Bob Garon, 63, said, "A veteran and a spouse would not be entitled to any burial benefits, or medical benefits, or anything that the serviceman has devoted his time and effort to his country, and you just don't support equality in terms of same-sex marriage?"

"The Defense of Marriage Act that exists in Washington today defines benefits, whether for veterans or non-veterans as between married spouses and for me that's a man and a woman," Romney responded. "We apparently disagree on that."

While Rick Santorum was visiting Iowa, a 23-year-old graduate student asked Santorum about his anti-same-sex views and made a comparison to a time when interracial marriage was illegal.

Jason Kornelis' statement upset Santorum.

"What is going to be taught to our children about who in our stories, even to little children - what are married couples? What families look like in America? So, you are going to have in our curriculum spread throughout our curriculum worldview that is fundamentally different than what is taught in schools today? Is that not a consequence of gay marriage," the GOP candidate asked.

The 23-year-old said he did not agree.

"I think you're wrong - okay, in fact you have to know you're wrong, because if we say legally if this type of relationship is identical to other type relationships than of course more of it will be taught because this is what the law says," Santorum said.


  • nick, 2011-12-19 19:52:17

    WTG...Keep the pressure on! Don’t give them an easy target to demonize, rile up their base, and move on like it doesn’t matter to the rest of us!

  • , 2011-12-20 08:28:24

    I am so proud of these young people standing up and speaking out! Now everyone needs to rally behind them and make sure our voices are heard!

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