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Fred Karger's New Hampshire Heckler

Fred Karger's New Hampshire Heckler

Gay candidate Fred Karger was kept out of a Republican presidential primary debate last week because of controversial rules about who qualifies based on their poll numbers. But a heckler who greeted him in New Hampshire was more direct: "You don't even belong in this state," she told him.

It's starting to look like no GOP presidential aspirant will be spared heckling or activist high jinks prior to the nomination. In recent weeks Tim Pawlenty, Michele Bachmann, and Newt Gingrich have all been "glitter-bombed" by pro-gay activists. ("I don't think a freewill adulterer like Newt has any ground to stand up while telling others who they can and can't love," said Nick Espinosa, 24, while explaining his reasons for dousing the former House speaker with rainbow confetti in Minneapolis.)

Now add Fred Karger to the heckling list, only on the other side of the issue.

The first openly gay Republican presidential candidate -- who has gone after leading contender Mitt Romney with claims that the former Massachusetts governor committed voter fraud in 2010 -- was shouted at June 13 when he arrived at St. Anselm College in Manchester, where the debate was held.

The woman who confronted Karger in the video, Karger said, was a Rick Santorum supporter who was apparently upset that Karger had testified in favor of marriage equality during a February state House hearing -- thereby taking away her own time to speak in favor of two bills that would repeal gay marriage in the state.

"Go back to California, Fred. You're not in the debate," the unidentified woman said. "You don't belong here. You took up my time at the state House when I went up there to testify, and you don't even belong in this state."

Karger had also spoken out against the National Organization for Marriage. In 2009 he filed an ethics complaint in Maine against the group, alleging it failed to properly disclose funding sources in its anti-gay marriage campaign in the state.

Of the incident, Karger remarked, "It's the first time I've been heckled. I was stunned while walking over to the debate hall. But I think it's probably a badge of honor ... I've earned my stripes."

(Video provided by John Keitel of Shelter Productions Inc.)

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