Sean Bielat, who is challenging openly gay Massachusetts Congressman Barney Frank for his seat, has defended the military's ban on open gay service.

This is Bielat's first run at elected office, but the Marine and business consultant appears to be closing in on the Democratic incumbent, once considered a shoo-in.

In an interview with the Boston Herald, Bielat insisted there was no “absolute right to serve.”

“Men under the height of 5 feet, 2 inches can't serve – I don't see anybody protesting. Where are the people standing in front of the White House, the short guy standing in front of the White House? You don't see it,” the Republican candidate said.

The 35-year-old Bielat has earned the endorsement of former Alaska Governor and Tea Party favorite Sarah Palin, but has rejected claims that he identifies with the Tea Party.

Bielat also opposes gay marriage. Massachusetts became the first state to legalize the institution five years ago.

Earlier in the month, Christine O'Donnell, the Republican candidate for the U.S. Senate from Delaware, defended the law that has ended the military careers of over 13,000 gay or bisexual service members, saying Congress should not “be forcing a social agenda on to our military