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