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GOP Debate: Audience Boos Gay Army Soldier Asking Santorum About DADT (Video)

by David Badash on September 22, 2011

in Uncategorized

Post image for GOP Debate: Audience Boos Gay Army Soldier Asking Santorum About DADT (Video)

Editor’s Note: Please read our update to this important story:
For Santorum Gays In The Military Reveals Commander In Chief Inadequacy.

At Thursday night’s Fox News/Google Republican debate, one question, posted to YouTube, came from a U.S. Army soldier serving in Iraq. Stephen Hill, donning a gray tee-shirt emblazoned with the word “ARMY” on the front, asked Rick Santorum if he would try to “circumvent the progress” that has been made in allowing gays and lesbians to serve openly, effectively reinstating Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell. The audience actually booed him. Hill, apparently, is gay, and was concerned for his future. The idea that anyone would actually “boo” a U.S. service member, serving his country, risking his life in Iraq, is beyond comprehension.

“Do you plan to circumvent the progress that has been made for gay and lesbian soldiers in the military?” The crowd booed.

Yes, on the heels of GOP debates during which the audience cheered Rick Perry’s death penalty execution record, another GOP debate during which the audience cheered the idea of allowing an uninsured man to die. And once again, none of the Republican candidates for president responded to the audience members who voiced their offensive opinions.

For the record, Santorum said, “Any type of sexual activity has no place in the military,” and added “Keep it to yourself, whether you’re heterosexual or homosexual.” Santorum admitted he would force lesbian, gay, and bisexual soldiers servicing their country back in the closet. “What we’re doing is playing social experimentation with our country right now and that’s tragic.” Santorum also said repeal of Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell was “giving [gays] a special privilege.”

Talking Points Memo adds, “The cringe-worthy moment has become something of a trend at the Republican presidential debates this year.”

GOProud, a gay Tea Party organization, issued this statement immediately following the debate:

“Tonight, Rick Santorum disrespected our brave men and women in uniform, and he owes Stephen Hill, the gay soldier who asked him the question about Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell repeal, an immediate apology.

“That brave gay soldier is doing something Rick Santorum has never done – put his life on the line to defend our freedoms and our way of life.  It is telling that Rick Santorum is so blinded by his anti-gay bigotry that he couldn’t even bring himself to thank that gay soldier for his service.

“Stephen Hill is serving our country in Iraq, fighting a war Senator Santorum says he supports.  How can Senator Santorum claim to support this war if he doesn’t support the brave men and women who are fighting it?”

LGBT | POV adds a quote from R. Clarke Cooper of the Log Cabin Republicans, a gay GOP organization:

“Santorum’s shameful response to the combat soldier’s question regarding open service was incoherent and out of touch. America’s uniformed leaders support gays and lesbians serving alongside their colleagues with dignity and respect. Santorum’s divisive and homophobic remarks do not befit a commander-in-chief.”

Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell banned gay, lesbian, and bisexual soldiers from serving their country. During it’s almost two-decade long life, America grew to despise the law, with 70% to 78% of the country wanting its repeal.

 

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{ 8 comments }

ninjacookie13 September 23, 2011 at 7:48 am

This makes me ache with disappointment in our government…

BeerandOnion September 23, 2011 at 9:05 am

This makes me disgusted with the Republican Party. The party that always says it supports the troops. And not a single GOP debater said a word about the ugliness of the crowd. The government was not there last night — Republicans were there last night. If you vote for a Republican now you also boo the troops.

ninjacookie13 September 24, 2011 at 8:12 am

You make an important point, thanks for correcting me. Yeah, no republicans are ever gon' get my vote. It shouldn't matter if he's gay or not- he's still willing to die for our country. Isn't that enough for these ignorant bastards?

parkypundit982 September 23, 2011 at 8:31 am

OK, so… the GOP audiences have cheered lustily for 234 excecutions, have shouted "CRUCIFY HIM!" (sorry, I mean) "LET HIM DIE" at a hypothetical 30-year old uninsured guy, and now they've booed a gay man serving in Iraq. Is there anything ELSE we need to know about today's Grand Old Party?
http://goo.gl/FF7W6

BeerandOnion September 23, 2011 at 9:09 am

Republicans have always bragged they support the troops and Progressives and Liberals do not. When the conservative crowd booed a man serving on the front lines not a single Republican on the stage said a word. Remember that at the election. The ugliness that has taken over the GOP keeps getting worse and worse.

twospirit1 September 23, 2011 at 2:51 pm

Comments like these – from the GOP candidates – and the way our current Congress has been fighting with each other like kids on a playground during recess make me truly sad to be of the human race. GEEZ!! Is it just me, or are these GOP candidates so out of the loop of life in the 21st Century that they can't see the absurdity of their views/outlooks? Oh, yeah…it's probably the people who are "paying" their way; their 'support base' who are calling the shots, I guess….

BEAM ME UP SCOTTY!!!!

wyocowboy62 September 23, 2011 at 11:42 pm

its a sad day that adult Americans are booing at someone…that is so childish.

Ned_Flaherty September 25, 2011 at 4:26 am

Here's a side-by-side comparison of all 13 presidential candidates, and what they now plan for DADT, equal pay for military personnel, DOMA, and related issues: http://www.marriageequality.org/Election2012

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