Disrespect Shown Gay Soldier by GOP Candidates at Debate Even Offends a Few Conservatives

Stephen Hill
Stephen Hill
Here’s a pleasant surprise. Jim Geraghty at the National Review Online has called out Republicans for their boorish treatment of a gay soldier who asked a question about Don’t Ask Don’t Tell. And he’s not talking about the jerks in the audience who booed:

Rereading the transcript of last night’s debate, I am struck that Rick Santorum did not thank Stephen Hill, a gay soldier in the U.S. Army currently in Iraq, for his service. Nor did anyone else on that stage.

Whatever you think of ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’ or homosexuality, Hill is risking his life on behalf of his country. It is troubling, and revealing, that Santorum’s answer entirely defined Hill as a gay man first and as a soldier second, if at all.

Former Bush Press Secretary Ari Fleischer tweeted:

Booing a soldier serving our nation is uncalled for. If I were on stage, I would make that point.

Andrew Sullivan, a moderate, lapsed supporter of the GOP, is pissed:

I have become used to hearing gay people and our lives either ignored or stigmatized or demonized in Republican debates. It is a function of a political party becoming a religion. And so my skin is pretty thick at this point, and my outrage button eroded by two decades of learning to ignore this stuff and focus on the positive arguments we have to make…