Republican presidential candidate and Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-Minn.) reacted on Glenn Beck's radio show Tuesday to an incident last week where an 8-year-old approached her at a book signing for her new memoir in South Carolina and told her that his mom is gay.
"My mommy -- Miss Bachmann, my mommy's gay, but she doesn't need fixing," said the visibly anxious boy, identified only as Elijah, quietly after Bachmann leaned her ear next to his face. The boy walked away and Bachmann waved goodbye.
"How do you navigate in that kind of world where you're being -- I think -- set up to look like a homophobe. Are you a homophobe?" Beck asked Bachmann.
"Of course not. I believe that we love all people, I love everyone. I don't necessarily agree with them," she replied. She added that she treated the mother and child in accordance with the Golden Rule. "Continually the agenda-driven community wants to climb up on my platform and make their issue my issue and paint me as someone that I'm not," she said.
"I think it's shameless to use a little boy, and put that little boy forward to advance an agenda issue," she said. Gay rights activist and author Dan Savage, who has a child, also said it was inappropriate to use a child to confront Bachmann. "Even if that 8-year-old kid wanted to do it, even if confronting Michele Bachmann was the kid's idea, even if the kid was excited about being in a YouTube video ... this just isn't cool," he wrote.
Bachmann added that she does not believe in civil unions or same-sex marriage. She did not, however, have a problem with contractual agreements between same-sex couples. "When you go into the hospital you can designate who you want to have come," she said. "Whether you're heterosexual or homosexual you can have contracts," she added.
She asserted that gays and lesbians do have access to marriage, but to members of the opposite sex, a line she also used last week at an Iowa high school. "They have access to the same laws of marriage, but the restrictions apply to everyone -- you have to marry someone from the opposite sex."