Army Capt. Stephen Hill hopes the days of DADT are long overOnline Only, Top Highlights Monday, November 21st, 2011
Army Capt. Stephen Hill says he did not intend to reveal his sexuality after asking GOP presidential candidates if the military’s discriminatory “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy would ever make a comeback should the candidates become victorious in their win. Hill instead explains in an interview with the Associated Press that his debate question was aimed toward his future with husband Joshua Snyder in Columbus Ohio and whether or not his marriage would be recognized by the military.
“I was looking forward to the future and hoping everybody would realize we are soldiers first, always,” said Hill, 41. “I was hoping ‘don’t ask, don’t tell’ would be a distant memory for everybody.”
The question Hill posed that was simple: “In 2010, when I was deployed to Iraq, I had to lie about who I was because I’m a gay soldier and I didn’t want to lose my job. My question is, under one of your presidencies, do you intend to circumvent the progress that’s been made for gay and lesbian soldiers in the military?”
Hill’s question was met with audience boos. GOP candidates did nothing to interfere with the inappropriate reaction. Santorum was first to reply that “any type of sexual activity has absolutely no place in the military” and that he would indeed reinstate the discriminatory policy.
“What we are doing is playing social experimentation with our military right now. That’s tragic,” Santorum continued. “Leave it alone. Keep it to yourself whether you are heterosexual or homosexual.”
The audience applauded Santorum.
“When the actual booing occurred, my gut dropped out, because my first inclination was, did I just do something wrong?” he said. “The answer, obviously, wasn’t very supportive of gay people, and there was a lot of fear of how the Army would take the question.”
One week later, President Barack Obama reproached the candidates for their lack on intervention when audience members booed the question, and moreover, and American soldier.
Hill and his husband Snyder have joined other same-sex couples in suing the government for military benefits that would ordinarily be given to married couples.
“This is not about sex,” Hill said. “A special privilege is not hiding pictures in my house or God forbid, taking mortar fire again and not knowing if Josh will be recognized. I’m fighting every day to protect everyone’s rights as human beings, and it seems counterintuitive for me to be fighting for those rights and not have them.”
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