Saturday, November 19, 2011

Army Captain who was booed at Republican debate is home now and speaking out

I'm sure you all remember the Republican debate when Army Captain Stephen Hill - who was serving in Iraq at the time - submitted a youtube question about whether or not the presidential candidates would reverse the repeal of Don't Ask, Don't Tell...and was booed. He was also told by Rick Santorum that his relationship with his partner Joshua Snyder was only about sexual activity, which "has no place in the military."

Captain Hill is home now (yeah!) and speaking out.

Hill says the fact that he just outed himself on national television had barely registered when he absorbed the boos and Santorum's answer followed by applause.

"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."

He did not have to wait long to find out. At breakfast later that morning, the segment was playing on the chow hall television. Hill immediately tracked down his commander, who told him she had no problem with what he'd done but that she would need to run it up the chain of command. She later relayed the response.

"She said, 'What the military's most concerned with is that you are OK, because it's a lot of pressure on you and we want to make sure if there is anything we can do to help,'" he recalled...

What Hill remembers most was that a presidential candidate defined his marriage and military service in terms of sex. He holds that up against the times he hid Snyder's photograph because Army buddies were coming over to play video games, introduced his husband as his roommate or brother, and the legal vows they exchanged at the grave of Air Force Sgt. Leonard Matlovich, who was discharged in 1975 after becoming the first gay service member to challenge the U.S. military's ban on gay troops.

Snyder and Hill last month joined other same-sex military couples in suing the government for the same benefits as straight military couples, which the Pentagon denies them on grounds that federal law defines marriage as a union between a man and a woman.

"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."

Thank you Captain Hill...for your service and your courage.


  1. That you are willing to put your life on the line in defense of the rights of your fellow americans even when you don't enjoy some of those rights is incredible. You're one hell of a man Captain Hill.

  2. Our military legacy is checkered by the bigotry of it's times. Captain Hill has taken the road of heroes before him,notably African Americans that were not only segregated,but at one time, did not recieve equal pay. Speaking of equal pay... Though the military has come to grips with reform, when will Congress ensure that women are treated as full citizens? Bravo to you. Captain Stephen Hill!

  3. ebogan63 here.

    As a child of Navy veterans, I was outraged at the treatment of the Captain by that disgraceful mob of idiots. I give a big hoorah to Captain Stephen Hill, and thank him for his service. To hell with those idiots!

  4. I'm sorry, it's a bald-faced lie that Captain Hill was booed. The audience was booing the media's insistence on wasting time with this issue when Obama has spent us into oblivion, seized over 1/7th of the economy, and is regulating the country into fascism.

    Forgive us, but the world does not revolve around your relationship. And for you to try to MAKE it the issue, when you voluntarily signed up knowing the goddamn rules when you did -- seriously.

    Also if you would have read the results of the military's own study, you would know that the percentage of gays in the military is even less than the roughly 2% they represent in the general population, and of that tiny less than 2% only 15% responded that they had any interest in being out about their sexual orientation at work anyway.

    They booed because there are a HELL of a lot more important things going on right now -- just about everything, to be frank. And yet the liberal media wants to keep bringing up this issue because otherwise the candidates might get a chance to talk about what an abysmal failure Obama has been. And they make it their job to prevent that.

    Thank you for your service. Quit acting like a victim! I too am gay, and can assure everyone you are not.