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Back to Section One | Back to Arts & Entertainment
posted Friday, December 16, 2011 - Volume 39 Issue 50
Gay veteran: 'You can't trust' Mitt Romney
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Gay veteran: 'You can't trust' Mitt Romney

by Shaun Knittel - SGN Associate Editor

GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney got into a heated argument with a Gay veteran at a diner in New Hampshire this week that concluded with the 63-year-old man telling reporters, 'You can't trust him.'

The exchange began when Romney stopped at Chez Vachon in Manchester. The Republican was in the restaurant campaigning with Manchester Mayor Ted Gatsas, who officially endorsed Romney on Monday.

According to The Washington Post, while working the room, Romney spotted a man in a flannel shirt wearing a Vietnam veteran hat and slid in next to him in a booth.

'Vietnam veteran!' Romney greeted Bob Garon.

'I have a question for you,' Garon told the former Massachusetts governor. 'New Hampshire right now has some legislation kicking around about a repeal for the same-sex marriage. And all I need is a yes or a no. Do you support the repeal?'

'I support the repeal of the New Hampshire law,' Romney said. 'I believe marriage is between a man and a woman. That's my view.'

Garon, who lives in Epsom, New Hampshire, was eating breakfast with his husband.

He turned to Romney and said, '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 [for], and you just don't support equality in terms of same-sex marriage?'

'I believe that marriage is a relationship between a man and a woman,' Romney replied, adding, 'and we apparently disagree.'

At that moment, a Romney aide called for him to wrap up the conversation, saying, 'Governor, we've got to get on with Fox News right now.'

'Oh, I guess the question was too hot,' Garon told Romney.

'No, I gave you the answer,' Romney replied. 'You said you had a yes-or-no [question]. I gave you the answer.'

'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. & You're going to need it.'

'You are right about that,' Romney said, as he stood up from the booth and headed into a side room for his interview.

According to the Post, reporters swarmed around Garon's booth at Chez Vachon, where he and his newlywed husband eat breakfast almost every day. Garon, who says he's an independent voter, said he would not support Romney in the January 10 primary.

'I was undecided,' Garon said. 'I'm totally convinced today that he's not going to be my president, at least in my book. At least Obama will entertain the idea. This man is 'No way, Jose.' Well, take that 'No way, Jose' back to Massachusetts.'

Asked why he felt so strongly about Romney's response, Garon said, 'Because I'm Gay, all right? And I happen to love a man just like you probably love your wife. All right? And I think that he or she or whatever is entitled to the same rights that I have. I fought for my country, I did my thing, and I think that my spouse should be entitled to the same entitlements as if I was married to a woman. What the hell is the difference? I was definitely offended. He doesn't even open the door to a conversation. It's just a boom! But I did ask him 'yes or no,' so I got what I asked for.'

'You can't trust him,' Garon said. 'I just saw it in his eyes. I judge a man by his eyes.'

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