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Romney gets in testy exchange with gay vet

After accepting the endorsement of NH Mayor Ted Gastas at a diner in Manchester, NH, Mitt Romney says he believes marriage is between a man and a women when asked about benefits for vets who are gay.

MANCHESTER, N.H. — It was an awkward moment over the breakfast table in Manchester.

On a campaign stop at a local diner, Mitt Romney sat down to chat with a Vietnam veteran who extended his hand to the former Massachusetts governor as Romney walked past his table. The vet, Bob Garon, who is gay, began to quiz Romney over his views on same-sex marriage, and what benefits the same-sex spouses of gay veterans should receive.

The exchange was brief, but testy.

"I believe that marriage is between a man and a woman and the defensive marriage act that is in Washington today defines benefits for whether for veterans or for non-veterans as between married spouses and for me that's between a man and woman," Romney said "We apparently disagree on that."

"You do not believe everyone is entitled to their Constitutional rights?" Garon replied.

"No, actually I think in the time the Constitution was written it was pretty clear that marriage is between a man and a woman and I don't believe the Supreme Court has changed that," said Romney.

"Oh, I guess the question was too hot," replied Garon, clearly disappointed. "No, I gave you the answer," Romney said.

"You have a good day governor," said Garon, dismissively.

As Romney got up to walk away after a few more not-so-pleasantries, Garon wished the former governor good luck, adding "You're going to need it."

"You're right about that," Romney said. "Good to meet you."

Garon later told reporters he would likely be supporting Ron Paul in the Republican primary here. He said it was his first, "and last" time meeting Governor Romney.