Texas governor suggests gay veterans should leave stateGay groups demand Perry apologizeBy STEVE KOVAL Jun 8, 10:55 AM
Texas Gov. Rick Perry suggested that gay veterans unhappy with the proposed anti-gay constitutional amendment should move elsewhere.
"I'm going to say Texas has made a decision on marriage and if there's a state with more lenient views than Texas, then maybe that's where they should live," the Fort Worth Star-Telegram reported Perry said Sunday.
Perry's comments were in response to a question during a news conference about what he would tell gay war veterans returning from Iraq.
Servicemembers Legal Defense Network, a group for gays in the military, today joined calls by the Lesbian & Gay Rights Lobby of Texas for Perry to apologize.
SLDN's Sharra Greer demanded an immediate apology from Texas Gov. Perry. (File photo by Clint Steib)
"More than 66,000 lesbian and gay veterans make their home in Texas," said Sharra E. Greer, SLDNâ€™s director of law and policy. "Their service has defended the freedom of every Texan, including Governor Perry. The governorâ€™s remarks dishonor their service and he should immediately apologize. We should be thanking these brave men and women, not asking them to leave."
Col. Paul W. Dodd, a retired Army Chaplain and SLDN honorary board member who now lives in Texas, said in a statement, "Gays and lesbians have defended our country since the American Revolution."
"Governor Perryâ€™s remarks were outrageous and offensive and do not reflect the views of fair-minded Texans who value the service of our men and women in uniform. It is past time that those who fight for freedom abroad be afforded those same liberties here at home," Dodd said.