Thursday night, during the Republican presidential debate in Florida, an American soldier serving in Iraq was booed by the audience simply for saying that he was gay, and for asking a question about "Don't Ask, Don't Tell."

And none of the GOP candidates on stage said a word in his defense.

Please sign on to the open letter by former Army Captains Tanya L. Domi, James E. Pietrangelo, II, Brenda S. "Sue" Fulton, Jonathan Hopkins, former Marine Sergeant Justin Elzie, and former West Point cadet Katherine Miller, each of whom had a lead role in bringing down "Don't Ask, Don't Tell." The letter demands that all the Republican presidential candidates denounce the disrespect that was shown to soldier Stephen Hill during the Republican debate.

The more signatures we get, the more the media will pressure the candidates to explain themselves. The pressure was already too much for Rick Santorum, who has now joined Jon Huntsman in denouncing the audience members who booed. But where are Michele Bachmann, Rick Perry, Mitt Romney, Herman Cain, and Ron Paul?  Please help us keep the pressure up!

The open letter (sign-up box is below the letter):

To the Republican presidential candidates:

Each and every one of you owes our American service members an apology.

Thursday night, during the Republican presidential debate in Florida, an American soldier serving in Iraq was booed by the audience simply for saying that he was gay, and for asking a question about "Don't Ask, Don't Tell."

Nine of you were on that stage, and none of you said a word.

After the debate, one lone candidate, Jon Huntsman, had the decency to speak out in defense of the soldier, saying: "You know, we’re all Americans, and the fact that he is an American who put on the uniform says something good about him."

This isn't about politics, it doesn't matter if you're a Republican or a Democrat, and it has nothing to do with where you stand on the issue of gays in the military. This is about showing an American service member a basic level of respect for serving this country.

We urge each of you to speak out against the disrespectful way in which soldier Stephen Hill was treated during your debate.


Tanya L. Domi, former Army Captain
James E. Pietrangelo, II, former Army Captain
Brenda S. "Sue" Fulton, former Army Captain
Jonathan Hopkins, former Army Captain
Justin Elzie, former Marine Sergeant
Katherine Miller, former West Point cadet
John Aravosis, AMERICAblog
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This petition has a goal of 10000 signatures
76-100 of 10513 signatures
Number Date Name Add your comment to ...
10438 Tue Oct 04 01:03:29 EDT 2011 Brian Bauer It was a shameful moment.
10437 Mon Oct 03 21:07:47 EDT 2011 Robert Clark Former USAF Captain and SAC Minuteman Missile Combat Crew Commander
10436 Mon Oct 03 21:03:25 EDT 2011 Cat Neshine
10435 Mon Oct 03 19:48:06 EDT 2011 Victor Avera The reason the audience boo the gay soldier is that most of those GOP that attended was of the same mentality of most of the GOP up on that stage.
10434 Mon Oct 03 19:21:18 EDT 2011 Michael Ryan Donovan Your nobility and good standing as American leaders are on the line here. Please apologize.
10433 Mon Oct 03 19:01:09 EDT 2011 Kate H
10432 Mon Oct 03 18:25:05 EDT 2011 Ken Follett
10431 Mon Oct 03 16:27:52 EDT 2011 Anonymous This type of disrepect and lack of response to an issue of clear discrimination is troubling for the future of our nation. I expect much, much more from a presidential candidate.
10430 Mon Oct 03 16:19:41 EDT 2011 Marcia Barnes Your silence was shameful!
10429 Mon Oct 03 15:59:08 EDT 2011 Tristan Walsh Defend our troops, no matter their political beliefs or sexual orientation.
10428 Mon Oct 03 14:00:01 EDT 2011 Brett E
10427 Mon Oct 03 13:57:09 EDT 2011 Alvin Kupperman The reaction by republicans at that debate was dispicable and un-american.
10426 Mon Oct 03 13:19:39 EDT 2011 Michael Lala
10425 Mon Oct 03 13:11:16 EDT 2011 james jones
10424 Mon Oct 03 13:01:15 EDT 2011 Thomas Kula
10423 Mon Oct 03 12:49:47 EDT 2011 Anonymous
10422 Mon Oct 03 12:45:15 EDT 2011 Cady Lister Shameful
10421 Mon Oct 03 12:23:30 EDT 2011 Daniel Kleinfeld
10420 Mon Oct 03 11:54:51 EDT 2011 Brent Casey This , after we've endured years of "Why do you hate our troops?" for expressing any sort of notion of ending these absurd wars. I know you're not sorry, but an apology is appropriate, nonetheless.
10419 Mon Oct 03 11:38:47 EDT 2011 Anonymous There is no excuse for this behavior and it shows that the Republican party candidates aren't worth the paper their names are printed on.
10418 Mon Oct 03 11:36:38 EDT 2011 Mary Brown As a current American service member and a human being, I find your lack of action and your audience's actions deplorable. The very least you could do is apologize. At best, you could rethink all the More....
10417 Mon Oct 03 11:26:57 EDT 2011 Molly McClure
10416 Mon Oct 03 11:25:30 EDT 2011 Jeff A
10415 Mon Oct 03 11:24:21 EDT 2011 John Leaderbrand
10414 Mon Oct 03 11:23:01 EDT 2011 Raymond Roy Retired Navy Captain
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