Republican Presidential debate audience boos gay soldier

Fri. September 23, 2011 8:36 PM by News Staff

Orlando, Fla. - An audience of Tea Party conservatives booed an openly gay serviceman who wanted to ask Republican candidates for President a question at a Google/FOX News debate on Thursday night.

Pre-taped questions were played during the debate, including this one from soldier Steven Hill, currently stationed in Iraq:

Hill: "In 2010 when I was deployed to Iraq, I had to lie about who I was, because I am a gay soldier. I didn't want to lose my job. My question is, under one of your presidencies, do you intend to circumvent the progress for gay and lesbian soldiers?"

Audience: "Boo...."

Candidate Rick Santorum: "I would say that any type of sexual activity has absolutely no place in the military. And the fact that they're making a point to include it as a provision that we are going to recognize a group of people and give them a privilege with the end of Don't Ask, Don't Tell tries to inject social policy into the military. And the military's job is to do one thing. It is to defend our country... I believe this undermines that ability."

Audience: Cheers, clapping.

Moderator: So what would you do with this out, gay soldier now?

Santorum: "What we are doing is playing social experimentation with our military right now and that's tragic. I would just say that going forward, we would re-institute that policy if Rick Santorum was President. Period. As far as people who were 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. Be it heterosexual or homosexual.'"