Republicans Booed United States Soldier At Presidential Debate

Patriotism, GOP style.

Former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum, who has been targeted by gay rights groups in the past, was asked by a moderator at the Fox News-Google debate in Orlando Thursday night about the repeal this week of the military’s “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy toward openly gay and lesbian service members serving in the military.

“In 2010, when I was deployed to Iraq, I had to lie about who I was, because I’m a gay soldier, and I didn’t want to lose my job,” said Stephen Hill, whose image was projected on a large TV screen in the debate hall. “My question is, under one of your presidencies, do you intend to circumvent the progress that’s been made for gay and lesbian soldiers in the military?”

Members of the crowd booed loudly at the question.

Santorum launched into an impassioned defense of re-instating the “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy.

“I would say, any type of sexual activity has absolutely no place in the military,” he said. “And the fact that they’re making a point to include it as a provision within the military that we are going to recognize a group of people and give them a special privilege to — to — and removing “don’t ask/don’t tell” I think tries to inject social policy into the military. And the military’s job is to do one thing, and that is to defend our country.”

Applause grew in the audience as he added, “We need to give the military, which is all-volunteer, the ability to do so in a way that is most efficient at protecting our men and women in uniform. And I believe this undermines that ability.”

But Hill has already gone public as a gay soldier. What should be done with him, the Fox News moderator asked?

“What we’re doing is playing social experimentation with … our military right now. And that’s tragic,” Santorum argued.

“I would … just say that, going forward, we would … reinstitute that policy, if Rick Santorum was president, period. That policy would be reinstituted. And as far as people who are in … I would not throw them out, because that would be unfair to them because of the policy of this administration, but we would move forward in … conformity with what was happening in the past, which was, sex is not an issue. … It should not be an issue. Leave it alone, keep it … to yourself, whether you’re a heterosexual or a homosexual.”

The crowd in Orlando cheered wildly at Santorum’s answer.

3 thoughts on “Republicans Booed United States Soldier At Presidential Debate

  1. Patrick

    I agree that the Orlando crowd is scum. Where is the respect for the military that conservatives usually value. First, a real presidential candidate would have told Santorum to check himself or shut up; then he or she would have told those who booed to leave.

    It is not that DADT should not be debated ans discussed; it is that you do not begin such a debate by disrespecting a soldier who might die the next day in service to the country we claim to love so much.

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