Gay soldier shares reaction to GOP debate boos

November 18, 2011 - 4:25 PM

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — The U.S. Army captain who was booed during a Republican presidential debate when he asked the candidates if they would reinstate the ban on openly gay troops says he wasn't trying to score political points.

Stephen Hill said he recorded the question for the September debate while deployed in Iraq because he was worried about his husband back home in Columbus, Ohio. Hill says that before the "don't ask, don't tell" policy was lifted, the newlyweds had to take drastic steps to hide their relationship.

Hill returned from his year-long deployment last week and spoke to The Associated Press about his reaction to the heckling and the political firestorm it briefly provoked.

President Barack Obama chided the Republican contenders for not sticking up for an active duty service member. Former Senator Rick Santorum, who answered that he would bring back a gay military ban if elected, later said he had not heard the catcalls.