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Two Teens Take on Michele Bachmann in Iowa

michele bachmann, election 2012

Iowa teen Jane Schmidt takes on Michele Bachmann's definition of "tolerance" amid a crowd of Bachmann supporters.

Last week, presidential hopeful, Michele Bachmann, was at a town hall meeting in Iowa. She was surrounded by fans and supporters when she launched into a mini-speech about how she stands for true tolerance and allowing people to express their beliefs, religious or otherwise.

Bachmann’s tolerance sounds great on paper. But practically applied? Well, two high school students who stood up among a pack of Bachmann enthusiasts showed that Bachmann’s brand of tolerance is pretty intolerable.

Jane Schmidt, a Waverly High School student and president of the school’s Gay-Straight Alliance, asked whether the LGBT community should be able to count on support and protection from the government. Bachmann explained to Schmidt that all Americans have the civil rights and it’s the government’s role to protect that.

Here’s an excerpt from the Des Moines Register‘s transcript:

JANE SCHMIDT: Then, why can’t same-sex couples get married?

BACHMANN: They can get married, but they abide by the same law as everyone else. They can marry a man if they’re a woman. Or they can marry a woman if they’re a man.

JANE SCHMIDT: Why can’t a man marry a man?

BACHMANN: Because that’s not the law of the land.

JANE SCHMIDT: So heterosexual couples have a privilege.

BACHMANN: No, they have the same opportunity under the law. There is no right to same-sex marriage.

JANE SCHMIDT: So you won’t support the LGBT community?

BACHMANN: No, I said that there are no special rights for people based upon your sex practices. There’s no special rights based upon what you do in your sex life. You’re an American citizen first and foremost and that’s it.

Worth noting is that same-sex marriage is legal in Iowa. Even more worth noting is that Schmidt, and Ella Newell, another teen who also spoke up, did so among a crowd that applauded every time Bachmann spoke. A man in the audience even told the teens that they should be more like Bachmann.

But I disagree. I think these two teens are turning out just fine. Better than fine. And certainly better than Bachmann.

Jason Noble covered the exchange for the Des Moines Register which printed a full transcript.

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