One of the less-well known potential candidates in the race for the President of the United States asked an audience of teenagers to consider how they would feel if their child grew up gay.

Chris Dodd was addressing high school students in Concord, New Hampshire.

The state’s 400-member House of Representatives yesterday approved a civil unions bill.

Senator Dodd, who has two young children, was asked about gay rights. He told the teenagers to consider their future offspring:

“They may grow up as a different sexual orientation than their parents,” he asked, according to AP.

“How would I want my child to be treated if they were of a different sexual orientation?”

Senator Dodd said he wanted his own children to have marriage rights, regardless of sexual orientation.

He stated his support for civil unions, and admitted they essentially differ from marriage in name only.

The 62-year-old is a United States Senator representing Connecticut.

He has been in the Senate since 1981, and previously dated actress Carrie Fisher and model Bianca Jagger. He is currently polling less than 5% with voters.

His forthright comments contrast with recent behaviour from the Democratic front-runners Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton.

Both dodged direct questions asking if they agree that homosexuality is immoral, then issued press statements saying they did not agree.

New Hampshire is a hugely important state in Presidential politics.

The state is the first major test of the candidates campaigns, as New Hampshire Democrats and Republicans hold the first ‘primaries’ or votes for party candidates for President.

A good showing in New Hampshire can often catapult a candidate into the lead, or alternately sink the chances of a perceived front-runner.