Hill, wearing a gray "ARMY" t-shirt then appeared on-screen and told the candidates that he is gay and that he had been forced to lie about his identity when he was deployed to Iraq in 2010 because he didn't want to lose his job. He then asked if the candidates would "do anything to circumvent the progress that's been made for gay and lesbian soldiers" now that the Don't Ask, Don't Tell policy has been officially repealed.
His video then ended and ... a handful of very loud boos erupted in the debate hall. Otherwise there was silence -- not one cheer for an active duty soldier asking the candidates if they'd let him continue serving his country without lying. No other voter-submitted question all night elicited such a harsh response.
The question went to Rick Santorum, who made things worse by not offering any words of appreciation for Hill's service, which he didn't even acknowledge. Instead, he declared that "any type of sexual activity has absolutely no place in the military," that gays and lesbians have been given "a special privilege" by the repeal of DADT, and that the basic function of the military has been undermined because of it. Unlike Hill's question, Santorum's response produced loud applause and cheers that almost drowned him out as he finished speaking.
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