WATCH: Rick Perry tells 14-year-old girl she’s a sinner, says “openly gays” shouldn’t be serving

Texas Gov. Rick Perry was confronted at a town hall in Iowa on Sunday about his opposition to gays serving openly in the military, a stance which he highlighted in a recent TV ad.

ABC News reports that 14-year-old Rebecka Green, an openly bisexual high school student, confronted Perry during a town hall in Decorah.

“I just want to know why you’re so opposed to gays serving openly in the military, why you want to deny them that freedom when they’re fighting and dying for your right to run for president,” Rebecka said.

Perry, who was apparently unaware of Rebecka’s sexual orientation at the time, responded as follows (note that “openly gays” is NOT a typo):

“Here’s my issue: This is about my faith, and I happen to think that, you know, there are a whole hosts of sins, homosexuality being one of them, and I’m a sinner and so I’m not going to be the first one to throw a stone. But to openly — it’s just like the Boy Scouts, do you recall when the Boy Scouts were sued to let openly gay individuals serve as Scout master? And that again is one of those issues that I don’t agree with. And I don’t agree that openly gays should be serving in the military. ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’ was working and my position is just like I told a guy yesterday. He said, ‘How would you feel if one of your children was gay?’ I said I’d feel the same way. I hate the sin, but I love the sinner, but having them openly serve in the military, I happen to think as a commander in chief of some 20,000 plus people in the military is not good public policy, and this president was forced by his base to change that policy and I don’t think it was good policy, and I don’t think people in the military thought it was good policy.”

With adults telling 14-year-olds that they’re sinners, is it any surprise that LGBT youth are taking their lives at such alarming rates? Thankfully, it sounds like Rebecka has a very supportive father in Todd Green, a Democrat and professor of religion at Luther College, who offered this takedown of Perry’s position, according to ABC:

“My daughter Rebecka particularly was very incensed by the ad Governor Perry ran a week or two ago here in Iowa where he complained about the problem of gays serving openly in the military but Christians not being able to celebrate Christmas openly. He seemed to get that backwards,” Todd Green said.

“It takes no courage to come out of the closet to be a Christian and run for president of the United States,” he said. “I’d be more impressed if you were Muslim or an atheist and coming out like that, but to come out as though this was an act of courage for him to proclaim his Christian faith, but he also wants to take the stand against gays in the military. This is someone who’s in the position of power and privilege and he’s abusing it.”

Titled “Strong,” Perry’s ad created a firestorm upon its release two weeks ago, even causing tension within his own campaign after reports emerged that a top aide strongly objected to the ad.

Asked what he thought of the governor’s explanation that he “hates the sin” but “loves the sinner,” Todd Green said, “I have always hated that phrase. I think it’s impossible and you show it by action. If you love the sinner, whatever that means, your policy should reflect that I think, but in the end, I don’t understand the logic behind that at all.”

—  John Wright

WATCH: Lubbock station flubs DADT; Texas Tech activist Nonnie Ouch says ‘It Gets Better’

Nonnie Ouch

Last week, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit put a stay on a lower court’s ruling allowing gays and lesbians to serve openly in the military.

Explaining the stay,  Fox 34 in Lubbock said, “As of right now anyone who is gay and in the military must keep that sexual preference under wraps.”

Nonnie Ouch, a Texas Tech student from Dallas, does help explain any confusion in her “It Gets Better” video below. She describes Lubbock as “the second most conservative city in the country.”

Getting sexual orientation wrong is the least of the Fox story’s problems. They’re a little fuzzy on the “don’t ask, don’t tell” issues.

For example, they quote a Texas Tech law professor saying he had a long, distinguished career as a JAG and knows “don’t ask, don’t tell” quite well.

So well, in fact that he claimed that he defended the policy in the 1980s. Wow. A whole decade before anyone even dreamed up the discriminatory DADT policy, this “expert” was out there defending it. He must really, really like it.

Or maybe not so much because the professor calls the policy an anachronism.

But the military needs time to work out some privacy issues, he says. Well, it seems the only privacy that’s been violated is the privacy of gay and lesbian military personnel. Their privacy is regularly invaded and they are thrown out.

The former JAG and legal expert Fox quotes thinks the military, not the courts, should be making the policy. Interesting since it was Congress who created the policy that was signed into law by the president. And I don’t remember anyone criticizing Congress or President Bill Clinton about interfering with military policy when they instituted it. And isn’t the president the commander-in-chief?

Ouch’s comments to Fox are a lot clearer than those of the policy’s sort-of defender who doesn’t seem to like the policy much anymore.

“It’s a huge deal, I have friends that are serving in Afghanistan right now that are gay and I couldn’t wait to tell them the news,” she told the Fox station before the stay was placed on the ruling.

In her video, Ouch tells gay youth that if they can get by in Lubbock, you can get by anywhere else in the country.

—  David Taffet