Friday, September 23, 2011

GOP Debate Audience Boos Gay Soldier; Santorum Apparently Demands Celibacy for ALL Military Folks

It seems like you can't toss a stone without hitting a 2012 Republican Presidential Debate these days.  During last night's debate, a gay solider currently serving in Iraq asked Rick Santorum, "Do you plant to circumvent the progress that has been made for gay and lesbian soldiers in the military?" (i.e., Are you going to undo DADT's repeal?).  Almost immediately, Hill was booed by the debate audience.

Santorum came out with the following answer:
"Any type of sexual activity has absolutely no place in the military. And the fact that they are making it a point to include it as a provision within the military - that we are going to recognize a group of people and give them a special privilege, I think tries to inject social policy into the military and the military's job is to defend our country. We need to give the military, which is all volunteer, the ability to do so in a way that is most efficient and protective of our men and women in uniform and I believe this undermines that ability."

Megyn Kelly followed up: "So what would you do with soldiers like Stephen Hill. Now he's out. What would you do as president?"

Said Santorum: "What we're doing right now is playing social experimentation with our military right now, and that's tragic. Going forward we would reinstitute that policy..."
That last bolded bit drew huge cheers from the audience.

But let's step back a bit.  Santorum has just stated that the military has no place for any type of sexual activity.  Is he suggesting that heterosexual soldiers and officers need to break away from their husbands and wives and boyfriends and girlfriends?  I doubt it, but then again gay people are crazy, sex-obsessed nuts who cannot control ourselves around innocent hets, right?  (That last bit was sarcasm, by the way...)

Part of the harm caused by DADT is that gay and lesbian soldiers had no support.  They were professionally at risk if they had a boyfriend or girlfriend or partner or spouse.  They could not seek support from their loved one like their het peers while trying to cope with being in a warzone over and over and over.  They couldn't be honest with chaplains or VA counselors about their home issues for fear of committing professional suicide.

It is sad that Santorum and those in that audience want to return our gay and lesbian soldiers to a policy that forces them into a situation where they aren't necessarily going to ever come out to anyone around them, but where they will lose their career if anyone connected to them professionally finds out through direct or indirect means.

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