Rick Santorum, Republican presidential candidate, has said he supports gay soldier Stephen Hill.

Hill is the Army service member serving in Iraq who contributed a YouTube video question to Thursday's Fox News/Google GOP presidential debate.

“Do you intend to circumvent the progress that has been made for gay and lesbian soldiers in the military?” Hill asked, referring to Tuesday's repeal of “Don't Ask, Don't Tell,” the military policy that banned gay and bisexual troops from serving openly.

Hill's video question was booed by the audience, who were clearly delighted when Santorum said DADT repeal was a “tragic social experiment” and that he would work to reinstate the policy, if elected president.

Servicemembers Legal Defense Network (SLDN) and GOP gay groups Log Cabin Republicans and GOProud criticized Santorum for not thanking Hill for his service and not commenting on the audience's booing.

Santorum addressed the criticisms during a Fox News segment.

“I condemn the people who booed that soldier. That soldier is serving our country. I thank him for our service to our country. I'm sure he's doing an excellent job,” Santorum said. “I have to admit I seriously did not hear those boos. Had I heard them, I certainly would have commented on them.”

“Had I, I would have said, 'Don't do that. This man is serving our country. And we are to thank him for his service.'” (The video is embedded in the right panel of this page.)