2. Bring back 'Don't Ask, Don't Tell'
Speaking of the military... At the Sept. 22, 2011, GOP debate, a gay soldier serving in Iraq asked a question via video clip: Would the candidates â€ścircumvent the progressâ€ť gays and lesbians have made with the repeal of â€śDonâ€™t Ask, Donâ€™t Tell,â€ť a Clinton-era policy that had barred them from serving openly?
Before Santorum could reply, some audience members booed the gay soldier. Santorum went ahead with his response. (He later explained that he didnâ€™t hear the booing, because he was thinking about what he would say.)
His first effort at an answer left some people scratching their heads: â€śAny type of sexual activity has absolutely no place in the military,â€ť he said. Then he criticized the repeal of DADT, calling it an attempt to â€śinject social policyâ€ť into military policy.
â€śWhat we're doing is playing social experimentation with our military right now,â€ť he said. â€śAnd that's tragic.â€ť
And yes, as president, he would reinstate DADT. But he would allow gay service members who had already come out to stay in the military. Sex â€śshould not be an issue,â€ť he said. â€śLeave it alone, keep it to yourself, whether youâ€™re a heterosexual or a homosexual.â€ť
Mitt Romney, in contrast, has said he would not restore DADT.