MANCHESTER, N.H. — During a campaign meet and greet at a local diner Monday morning, GOP presidential hopeful Mitt Romney found himself in an awkward position defending his stance on same-sex marriage.
Romney was working the breakfast crowd at Chez Vachon diner drumming up support for his campaign when he slid into a booth occupied by a gentleman wearing a Vietnam Veteran baseball cap. After a round of small talk, Romney found himself being asked whether he favored repeal of New Hampshire’s Same-Sex marriage law.
“I support the repeal, I support the repeal of the New Hampshire law. I believe a marriage is between a man and a woman,” Romney replied in response.
The vet, 63-year-old Bob Garon from the town of Epsom, N.H. then challenged the former Massachusetts governor saying, “If two men get married, apparently a veteran’s 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?”
Romney reiterated his support for the Defense of Marriage Act, and added, “And we apparently disagree.”
“It’s good to know how you feel,” Garon said. “That you do not believe that everyone is entitled to their constitutional rights.”
“No, actually, I think at the time the Constitution was written it was pretty clear that marriage is between a man and a woman,” Romney replied. “And I don’t believe the Supreme Court has changed that.”
With that, a Romney aide interrupted, saying, “Governor, we’ve got to get on with Fox News right now.”
“Oh,” said Garon. “I guess the question was too hot.”
“No, I gave you the answer,” Romney said.
“You did,” Garon said. “And I appreciate your answer. And you know, I also learned something and New Hampshire is right. You have to look a man in the eye to get a good answer, and you know what, Governor, good luck.”
“Thank you, appreciate it,” Romney said. “Have a good day to you, sir.”
“You’re going to need it,” Garon replied.
“You are right about that,” Romney said as he left the table.
Reporters then clustered round Garon, who disclosed that he was in fact gay and that the other gentleman sitting at the table across from the seat that the governor had just vacated was his husband, Bob Lemire, whom he had married last June.
“I’m totally convinced today that he’s not going to be my president at least in my book,” Garon told reporters. “At least Obama will entertain the idea. This man is ‘No way, Jose.’ Well, take that, ‘No way, Jose’ back to Massachusetts.”
“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,” Garon added. “What the hell is the difference?”