Marco Rubio was visiting a diner in Manchester, New Hampshire, on Monday when he was confronted about his opposition to same-sex marriage by a gay man sitting at a table with his husband and mother.
‘Why do you want to put me back in the closet?’ the man, Timothy Kierstead, asked the Republican presidential hopeful during a tense exchange inside the Puritan Backroom diner.
Rubio replied: ‘I don’t. You can live any way you want.’
Kierstead pointed out that the US Senator from Florida’s stance against same-sex marriage is sending a message of ‘we don’t matter.’
Rubio, according to media pool reports of the incident, then said: ‘No, I just believe marriage is between one man and one woman.’
Kierstead replied: ‘Well, that’s your belief.’
Rubio then explained: ‘I think that’s what the law should be. And if you don’t agree you should have the law changed by a legislature.’
Kierstead reminded Rubio that the law was changed when the US Supreme Court made same-sex marriage legal in all 50 US states last June in a landmark ruling.
Rubio patted Kierstead on the shoulder and before walking away said: ‘I respect your view.’
Kierstead had the last word by saying loudly: ‘Typical politician. Walk away.’
Kierstead later told reporters that he and his husband have three children and owns a restaurant in Manchester.