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Rick Santorum Criticized for 'Disrespecting' Gay Iraq War Veteran (VIDEO)

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By Ray Downs, Christian Post Reporter
September 23, 2011|10:35 am

Republican presidential contender Rick Santorum was criticized for telling a gay soldier, who said he had to lie about who he was while fighting in Iraq, that he would reinstate "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" if elected as president.

Stephen Hill, the gay soldier who asked via video what Santorum's position would be regarding DADT, was booed by the audience (see the video below).

Santorum, who has never served in the armed forces, did not address the boos, but explained his position by saying "sexual activity has absolutely no place in the military.

The former Pennsylvania senator also referred to the repeal of DADT as "playing social experimentation with our military…"

"I think it tries to inject social policy into the military," Santorum said, regarding the repeal of DADT, "and the military's job is to do one thing: to defend our country..."

Megyn Kelly, moderator of the Fox News/Google debate, then asked Santorum what he would do with soldiers like Hill. "What we are doing is playing social experimentation with our military right now. That’s tragic," Santorum said.

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He continued: "I would just say that going forward we would reinstitute that policy if Rick Santorum was president. That policy would be re-instituted as far as people in - I would not throw them out because that would be unfair to them because of the policy of this administration. But we would move forward in conformity with what was happening in the past. Which was - sex is not an issue. It should not be an issue. Leave it alone. Keep it to yourself whether you are heterosexual or homosexual."

GOProud, a gay conservative group, issued a statement condemning Santorum for his remarks.

"That brave gay soldier is doing something Rick Santorum has never done – put his life on the line to defend our freedoms and our way of life. It is telling that Rick Santorum is so blinded by his anti-gay bigotry that he couldn't even bring himself to thank that gay soldier for his service," the statement read.

It continued: "Stephen Hill is serving our country in Iraq, fighting a war Senator Santorum says he supports. How can Senator Santorum claim to support this war if he doesn’t support the brave men and women who are fighting it?"

The Santorum campaign could not be reached for comment.

Santorum, a Roman Catholic, is known for his conservative views regarding homosexuality and same-sex marriage and has once claimed the gay community is on a "gay jihad" against him.

Regarding same-sex marriage, Santorum told supporters in Spartanburg, S.C. last month that marriage cannot be redefined.

"This is a napkin. A napkin is what a napkin is,” Santorum said. "It isn't a paper towel. It isn't a car. You can call a napkin a car, but it doesn't make it a car. You can call a paper towel a chair, but it doesn't make it a chair. Marriage is what marriage is. It existed before there was the English language or a state."

He has also took criticism for comparing homosexuality to incest. "[I have] a problem with homosexual acts, as I would with what I would consider to be acts outside of traditional heterosexual relationships . . . ," he told the Associated Press.

"If the Supreme Court says that you have the right to consensual [gay] sex within your home, then you have the right to bigamy, you have the right to polygamy, you have the right to incest, you have the right to adultery," the presidential candidate added.

Most recently, Santorum was asked by CNN's Piers Morgan if he thought homosexuality was a sin, and if his views on homosexuality were bigoted.

"The Catholic Church teaches that homosexuality is a sin. I’m Catholic and subscribe to the Catholic Church’s teaching," Santorum replied.

He added, "But that's not relevant from the standpoint of how I view these issues from a public policy view."

The GOP presidential candidate said from a public viewpoint he found many things "morally wrong" that didn’t "necessarily rise to the level" that warranted government involvement in "regulating that activity."

Piers Morgan pointed out that he was also a Catholic, adding that the times have changed.

"We’re in a different era. We're in a modern world," Morgan stated.

Santorum countered that the "truth" does not change, claiming that right and wrong remains the same regardless of the era.

"There are some truths that are in fact eternal and based on nature and nature's law. And that's what the church teaches and that's what the Bible teaches and that's what reason dictates," he said.

Morgan insisted that such a view of gay marriage bordered on "bigotry."

Sanotorum, disagreed, saying, "Just because we disagree on public policy, which is what the debate has been about …marriage, it doesn't mean that it's bigotry."

Santorum Answers Gay Soldier's DADT Question



 

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