Gay Vietnam Vet Who Challenged Romney On Marriage Equality Speaks Out

Yesterday, 63-year-old gay veteran Bob Garon met Mitt Romney during a campaign stop at Chez Vachon restaurant in Manchester and asked the former governor if he would overturn New Hampshire’s same-sex marriage law. Romney said that he would, adding that he supports a federal constitutional amendment to define marriage as a union between one man and one woman. Garon replied, “It’s good to know how you feel, that you do not believe everyone is entitled to their constitutional rights.” He later told reporters, “Absolutely I was definitely offended [by Romney’s response].”

This morning, the Vietnam vet appeared on MSNBC with Thomas Roberts and confessed that he “didn’t expect the answer that I got”:


GARON: I thought he would be a little more diplomatic in his answer….What I didn’t expect from Mr. Romney is how confrontational he was and argumentative. I wasn’t there for a debate with him, I just wanted him to answer the question and my question was really hoping that if he gets into the White House that he would be in support of the benefits entitled to veterans and their spouses. Currently they’re not. […]

I probably won’t see [benefits extended to gay and lesbian couples] in my lifetime and my partner probably won’t see it in his lifetime. However, I do believe the country will eventually recognize same-sex marriage on the federal level so that at least we can have our Constitutional rights. I mean, if my husband was a female, she would be entitled to all the benefits and currently he is not. And I don’t see why. Why on earth is he not entitled to the same benefits that if my partner was a female? It just makes no sense to me.

Watch it:

Same-sex couples are currently denied federal benefits by the 1996 Defense of Marriage Act. President Obama has stopped defending the measure in court and has endorsed the Respect for Marriage Act — which seeks to repeal the law. That bill passed out of the Senate Judiciary Committee in November.