A disgruntled man was prevented from boarding a flight with Gov. Greg Abbott (R-TX) in New York City's John F. Kennedy Airport Tuesday night after throwing verbal threats the conservative leader's way, according to Dallas News. The booted passenger was apparently not a fan of Abbott's views on marriage. Instead of engaging in an intellectual and fair debate about the issue after shaking Abbott's hand, the passenger had these lovely words for the governor of Texas, who, it's worth mentioning, uses a wheelchair:
“I hope you [expletive] go to hell because of your stance on gay marriage,” the man told the governor, using an epithet for emphasis, according to Abbott communications director Matt Hirsch, who was with the governor.
The man, identified only as a 32-year-old male by Port Authority police, was asked to step back by Texas state troopers traveling with the governor. As he walked away, Hirsch said the man, dressed in jeans and a T-shirt, directed a parting shot at the governor: “I’m going to see you on the plane.”
Abbott was a vocal opponent of the Supreme Court's pro-gay marriage ruling in Obergefell v. Hodges earlier this month. In addition to lambasting the justices' "partisan" decision, he insisted that religious liberty must be defended in its wake:
The government must never pressure a person to abandon or violate his or her sincerely held religious beliefs regarding a topic such as marriage. That sort of religious coercion will never be a ‘compelling governmental interest,’ and it will never be ‘the least restrictive means of furthering that interest.’”
Such a statement was unacceptable to the belligerent JFK passenger. He was more interested in ending the discussion.
Since no "direct threats" were made, according to Port Authority officers, the passenger was not arrested, but he also wasn't allowed anywhere near the governor. Authorities placed him on a different flight back to Austin.
Traveling with Abbott at the time of the incident were his wife, Cecilia, and 18-year-old daughter, Audrey.