An openly gay soldier who was booed by a Republican audience spoke to MSNBC host Chris Matthews on Wednesday about his reaction to the incident.
Army Captain Stephen Hill asked at the Fox News Republican presidential debate in September if the candidates intended to “circumvent the progress that has been made for gay and lesbian soldiers in the military?” His question was met with loud boos.
“I’ve been in the army about 20 years,” he told Matthews. “And I submitted the question because I have had a lot of times in the military where I’d go to the firework, and would be sitting there and they would say, ‘We want to shout out to the troops,’ and it made me feel like I should be really happy at that moment, and then I would all of a sudden realize I am fighting for everybody’s rights except my own. So when I heard some of the Republican candidates had said they would repeal the repeal of ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell,’ I felt inclined to ask them, ‘is that true? is that what you would do?'”
“I was pretty surprised when the boos happened. It was shocking to me, my gut kind of dropped out. I thought that I had done something wrong. But I think what’s worse is probably that Mr. Santorum’s response got so many cheers.”
Santorum responded to the question by saying that gays shouldn’t have the “special privilege” of being able to serve openly.
Watch video, courtesy of MSNBC, below: