Rep. Eric Cantor of Virginia, the House
majority leader, on Monday was heckled while giving an answer in
support of the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA).
After giving a speech to about 350
students (100 in an overflow area) at the Ann Arbor campus of the
University of Michigan Ford School of Policy on Monday, Cantor
refused to answer a question on the 1996 law that bans federal
agencies and the military from recognizing the legal marriages of gay
and lesbian couples.
During the question-and-answer period
that followed Cantor's 30-minute speech, the Republican was asked:
“How do you reconcile your position with states rights and the
Constitution and with your support of the Defense of Marriage Act.”
“I've always been very
straightforward about this. I just believe in traditional marriage
between a man and woman,” Cantor said as boos are heard from
members of the audience.
One student is heard saying, “I'm gay
and you're not for my family.”
“Well, I would again say that we all
no matter what we are, who we are, what the background of his country
should allow for equal opportunity to earn the success we're after."
“Answer the question,” a student
says before Cantor moves on. (The video is embedded in the right
panel of this page.)
According to the Detroit
Free Press, about a dozen students stood up with their backs
to Cantor. Several had taped messages to their clothing that read,
“SHAME ON YOU ERIC CANTOR.”