2012 Election | Gay Marriage | Iowa | News | Tim Pawlenty

Gay Man Confronts Tim Pawlenty 'You Are Discriminating Against Me And It Hurts': VIDEO


Today at the Iowa State Fair, presidential hopeful Tim Pawlenty was challenged on his anti-gay positions by a gay Minnesota resident in the audience, Igor Volsky at Think Progress LGBT reports.


Said the man:

"I want to know know — when will you stand up for me…because you are discriminating against me and it hurts, it really does...I support that you have your moral values, but that is something that is hurting my future and how I get to live my life…why does government get involved in our marriages?"

Answered Pawlenty:

"From my perspective, I'm not at the point, nor will I ever be at the point, where I will say that every domestic relationship is the same as traditional marriage...The relationship between a man and a woman in a traditional marriage is important to our country, our society, our culture. I think it should remain elevated, not just in our words, but under our laws — that's why I've supported laws, in fact have authored laws, to maintain marriage as between a man and a woman."

The Hill also reports on the confrontation:

The questioner did not back down, and asked Pawlenty why government gets involved in gay marriage at all, and whether he would see a gay American as a "second-class citizen."

"We're just going to have a respectful disagreement, sir," Pawlenty replied.


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  1. let's be clear that these kinds of disagreements are not "respectful".

    Posted by: mike128 | Aug 12, 2011 3:08:27 PM

  2. Good to see. This is what you do. Stand up and fight back!

    Posted by: David Ehrenstein | Aug 12, 2011 3:13:47 PM

  3. I applaud what this man in the audience was doing. He should be praised. But here's a helpful nugget for the future. As someone who is personally speaking from a family with a Christian background, it falls on deaf ears when a gay person asserts that he wants to life his life the way he wants to live it. That's code, in a twisted way yes, but still code for religious zealots to think you're living your life in a selfish way in opposition to God's way. What would've been possibly more effective, and is more effective, is to highlight the discrimination gay people face and the unequal rights, protections, and benefits in every single daily facet of life that gay people are faced with. Nebulous statements like "how I get to live my life" just fall on deaf ears when they are religious ears. Again, though, the man should be applauded for his courage and standing up for what's right.

    Posted by: Robbie | Aug 12, 2011 3:31:43 PM

  4. pawlenty, you're an a-hole.

    Posted by: alguien | Aug 12, 2011 3:34:58 PM

  5. I would like to point out that it is absolutely and categorically IMPOSSIBLE to discriminate "respectfully".

    Posted by: TampaZeke | Aug 12, 2011 3:40:22 PM

  6. It's 2011, gay marriage should be ok to everyone. It has become the first and very important issue to GOP and it is very weird.

    Posted by: Matt26 | Aug 12, 2011 3:42:20 PM

  7. Good for him. Hope every candidate will have to answer these questions in public and say out loud why they are supporting bigotry to someone's face.

    Posted by: Patrick M | Aug 12, 2011 3:46:51 PM

  8. Pawlenty's definition of a respectful disagreement:
    respect the fact that i don't respect you.

    Posted by: my2cents | Aug 12, 2011 3:55:56 PM

  9. It is not simply a respectful disagreement. It is a case of Pawlenty supporting discrimination in our laws. It is a case of religious based bigotry as public policy. This isn't simply a disagreement. It is an injustice.

    Posted by: candideinnc | Aug 12, 2011 4:07:05 PM

  10. It really doesn't matter what T-paw thinks, he has no chance of getting anywhere near the nomination.

    That said, bravo to the man for putting him on the spot and making him show the world what a bigot in a nice shirt looks like.

    Posted by: johnny | Aug 12, 2011 4:08:28 PM

  11. But the gay guy supports DOMA?! Huh?

    Posted by: nikko | Aug 12, 2011 4:08:50 PM

  12. I agree, Robbie... This guy has amazing courage. But coming from a fundamentalist, evangelical background, people in that movement/community don't care if you see marriage inequality as discrimination- that is a battle rarely- if ever- won with that crowd. Issues that sound better to the general population suh as job/ housing discrimination. And again, phrasing it around the constant discrimination against everyday Americans who are also gay gains greater support. When you ask people if it's ok that gay couples be thrown out of restaurants, housing and be discriminated against in employment, few people ( out of the general population) are going to say they're ok with that. But again, snaps to the guy takin on Pawlenty!!!

    Posted by: Scott | Aug 12, 2011 4:15:09 PM

  13. So much better than throwing glitter.

    Posted by: Dastius Krazitauc | Aug 12, 2011 4:26:21 PM

  14. I like how he said, "If someone is in favor of smaller government, how come you won't get out of my life?". No answer.

    Posted by: Alhamdu | Aug 12, 2011 4:30:05 PM

  15. I too admire the questioner's bravery, but let's be clear, he's asking for the government to sanction his marriage. So the question really should be, "why should you get to choose which loving and stable relationship is worthy of civil marriage?"

    Posted by: David R. | Aug 12, 2011 4:43:49 PM

  16. Whe will all of us fags who are taxed to the max and are denied our rights stop the fuking whining and simply stop paying taxes.?

    Posted by: Kevin Thor | Aug 12, 2011 5:12:18 PM

  17. why be respectful to these asshats? they get what they deserve and should get more of this. time to start acting up against these bigots or else they feel they can get away with it. too bad if he is offended he offends me.

    Posted by: walter | Aug 12, 2011 5:17:34 PM

  18. Good for this protestor! I can't believe these politicians go unchallenged in public. They ought to be concerned about a protest from the GLBT community at any moment. I agree with some of the other protestors about personalizing the discrimination--the deportations, the unequal taxes, the loss of over 1000 federal rights. Everyone should relate to that. Make these politicans squirm.

    Posted by: David | Aug 12, 2011 5:45:23 PM

  19. We need to this more- it's time to respectfully confront these bigots and not back down

    Posted by: jaragon | Aug 12, 2011 5:48:52 PM

  20. Offering civil unions is the sign of "respectful disagreement"

    Offering nothing, and going so far as to enshrine that nothing in the constitution, is offering a steaming pile of disagreement.

    Posted by: BobN | Aug 12, 2011 6:46:34 PM

  21. I applaud the young man. He put a face to discrimination for all those folks to see. That's how you create change. I agree that perhaps he should have posed a question that related to discrimination with regard to employment or housing/accommodation. That would have been a less polarizing subject for the crowd. Regardless of what the LGBT community wants, there are folks who are just going to zone out when the subject of same-sex marriage gets raised. Especially in the heartland. Right or wrong, this still remains an incremental journey for us.

    Posted by: Perry | Aug 12, 2011 7:20:44 PM

  22. why aren't "gay" marriages "important to our country, our society, our culture?" hmm? why? why aren't they? huh? can't hear you..

    look, if you are gonna make that claim, and deny others, you need some good hard evidence to back it up. stop falling back on your "beliefs" and use the noodle god gave you to THINK about your stance, not to court votes, or stay safe, or follow the party line.

    Besides, this is a nation, not a theocracy. Keep your religion to yourself.

    Posted by: kodiak | Aug 12, 2011 7:30:23 PM

  23. The use of term "respectful" is interesting, because I can't think of anything less respectful than telling telling gay people that they are not as good as every other American and do not deserve the same rights under the law.

    Posted by: Ken | Aug 12, 2011 7:37:36 PM

  24. This man is brave, focused, articulate, fierce, correct, and a leader. He is able to make clear the hurt of discrimination. He makes you want to stand tall beside him and carry on the fight. He makes me proud to be an American.

    Posted by: trees | Aug 12, 2011 9:04:50 PM

  25. Who is this "pink shirt" man? Let's get him on Rachel Maddow... or put him to work for the Human Rights Campaign. He is a courageous American!

    Posted by: Jim | Aug 13, 2011 12:51:12 AM

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