On Tuesday, Newt Gingrich told an Iowa voter primarily concerned about marriage equality for gay and lesbian Americans to vote for President Obama, indicating that he would not be interested in engaging on the issue of same-sex marriage as president. Last night, that voter — adjunct college professor Scott Arnold — appeared on MSNBC’s Ed Show and said that Gingrich’s refusal to ever consider changing his mind on the fundamental issue of equal rights made him feel like a second-class citizen:
ARNOLD: It was almost as if he drew a line in the sand saying, you know, I don’t want your support. Go vote for this other guy because there’s no place for you in my, you know, in my presidency, there’s no place for you almost in a sense, you know, as an American. What do gay Americans do if Newt Gingrich was president? It was baffling really. [...] If he wants to be president, he should be president of all Americans. And, yeah, that did make me feel like a second-class citizen. Absolutely.
The Gingrich campaign has issued a statement standing by the Speaker’s refusal to consider gay rights, saying, “As you can see from the transcript and video, Gingrich was saying that he plans to talk to all Americans about jobs, national security, creating a better future for America and many issues.” “He did say that for voters whose most important issue was allowing gays the right to marry, that it was legitimate for them to support Obama for president.” Republican gay groups have also jumped to Gingrich’s defense.