Gay activists protested outside one of
Ike Skelton's four Missouri offices Thursday demanding an apology
from the congressman over his recent comments on repeal of “Don't
Ask, Don't Tell,” Columbia NBC affiliate KOMU reported.
About twenty people from two gay rights
organizations protested Skelton's opposition to repeal of the law
that prohibits gay troops from serving openly because the topic isn't
“What do mommies and daddies say to
their 7-year-old child?” the 78-year-old Skelton said two weeks
ago. “My biggest concerns are the family.”
In his role as chairman of the House
Armed Services Committee, Skelton blocked an amendment that would
repeal the law from being debated by committee members. The full
House, however, voted in favor of attaching the amendment to the
defense budget, a move Skelton voted against.
“Dragging families and children into
the issue is not part of the 'Don't Ask, Don't Tell' repeal,” Will
Roth, a member of the Missouri-based gay rights group Show Me No
Hate, told Jefferson City CBS affiliate KRCG. “It has nothing to
do with children and families. It has nothing to do with mommies and
daddies telling their seven-year-old child about gay people or why
gay people want to serve in the military.”
“We are prepared to hold the
Congressman accountable for his homophobia,” Ed Reggi, co-founder
of Show Me No Hate, said on
the group's website.
The groups presented Skelton staffers
with petitions signed by more than 3,000 people. Organizers said
they plan to demonstrate at Skelton's other offices.