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
"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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