President Obama criticizes Republican candidates after shunning gay soldierTop Highlights, Breaking News Tuesday, October 4th, 2011
In his speech at a Human Rights Campaign function, President Obama was applauded when he said, “no one has to live a lie to serve the country they love.” Just weeks after the fall of Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell, the president expressed strong sentiment in his speech, explaining, “I’m hopeful, I’m fired up, too!”
But amongst the celebratory crowd and the enthusiastic speech, President Obama addressed a recent political campaign blunder where a gay soldier was booed after asking Republican presidential hopefuls if they would reinstate the Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell policy upon their commission into presidency. Upon asking the question, the gay soldier, Stephen Hill, was hissed off stage, but presidential candidates did not interject nor did they thank the soldier for his service to the United States.
President Obama criticized the lack of response from Republican candidates. “You want to be commander in chief,” the president said, “you can start by standing up for the men and women who wear the uniform of the United States, even when it’s not politically convenient.”
“Every single American -– gay, bisexual and transgender -– deserves to be treated equally before the law,” the president said. Attendees did not confront the president over his stance on gay marriage, a subject the president did not formally address at the HRC dinner gala, though the president did say his views on same sex marriage are “evolving,” the New York Times reports.
President Obama joked with the crowd, after he explained that he “held some productive bilateral talks with your leader, Lady Gaga.”
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