Republican presidential candidate Rick Perry explained Sunday that his faith tells him that gay men and lesbians shouldn't be allowed to serve openly in the military.
Following a campaign event in Decorah, Iowa, 14-year-old Rebecka Green, who openly identifies as bisexual, asked the Texas governor why he was "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?" she pointed out.
"Here’s my issue," the candidate replied. "This is about my faith, and I happen to think, you know, there are a whole hosts of sins. Homosexuality being one of them."
"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."
After her encounter with Perry, Green told reporters that she didn't want to be told that she couldn't serve in the military just because she is bisexual.
"Him or nobody should be able to tell somebody who they can or can’t love," she insisted.
Rebecka's father, Todd Green, said that they had decided to come to the event after seeing a recent Perry ad that accused President Barack Obama of waging a "war on religion" because gays can serve openly while "our kids can’t openly celebrate Christmas or pray in school."
"He seemed to get that backward," the girl's father declared. "Christians are not being persecuted in the United States of America. They’ve been in a position of dominance and power and privilege throughout the history of the United States of America. LGBT persons have not."