February 8, 2016 at 5:12 pm EST | by Michael K. Lavers
Gay N.H. man confronts Rubio over marriage opposition

Marco Rubio, New Hampshire primary, gay news, Washington Blade

U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) speaks with diners at the Puritan Backroom restaurant in Manchester, N.H., on Feb. 8, 2016. (Washington Blade photo by Michael K. Lavers)

MANCHESTER, N.H. — A gay New Hampshire man on Monday confronted U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) over his opposition to marriage rights for same-sex couples during a campaign stop at a Manchester restaurant.

The New York Times reported that Timothy Kierstead asked the Florida Republican at the Puritan Backroom in the city’s North End, “Why do you want to put me back in the closet?”

Rubio, who was at the restaurant with his 8-year-old son Dominick, told Kierstead that he can “live any way you want.” The New York Times reported the Florida Republican reaffirmed his opposition to marriage rights for same-sex couples.

“That’s your belief,” responded Kierstead, according to the New York Times.

The New York Times said that Kierstead, who is married, pointed out that same-sex couples can legally marry in New Hampshire and across the country. Rubio reportedly ended the tense exchange by telling him that he respects “your opinion.”

“Typical politician,” said Kierstead, according to the New York Times.

The family of New Hampshire Executive Councilman Chris Pappas, who is openly gay, owns the Puritan Backroom.

The New York Times reported that a 92-year-old woman who was also at the restaurant asked Rubio whether U.S. Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) is gay.

Rubio later on Monday spoke to supporters at a restaurant in Goffstown.

The Florida Republican during that campaign stop did not mention Kierstead and the 92-year-old woman with whom he spoke at the Puritan Backroom.

Rubio blasted President Obama over the Affordable Care Act and other issues, including “unconstitutional executive orders.” The Florida Republican did not identify any specific mandates in his remarks.

“This deliberate effort to change our country continues,” said Rubio.

Two supporters of U.S. Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.), who ended his presidential campaign after the Iowa Republican caucuses, gathered outside the Goffstown restaurant to protest Rubio.

They held signs that compared Rubio to Obama before his 2008 election. The Florida Republican’s supporters before the event began pulled the restaurant’s blinds shut in order to prevent those inside from seeing the protesters.

Marco Rubio, gay news, Washington Blade, New Hampshire primary

Supporters of U.S. Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) stand outside a restaurant in Goffstown, N.H., on Feb. 8, 2016, where U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) held a campaign event. (Washington Blade photo by Michael K. Lavers)

Michael K. Lavers is the international news editor of the Washington Blade. Follow Michael

2 Comments
  • Any LGBTQ Person who votes for this enept republican deserves what he or she gets. But what are the rest of us sain people to do? Live with the aftermath…what a west of time.

    GO HHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH

  • That’s bizarre that the 92 year old woman asked Rubio about Lindsay Graham’s sexual orientation. Why would Rubio know let alone tell if he did?

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