Army Captain Stephen Hill, the gay soldier who was booed by a Republican presidential debate audience last fall, and his husband are campaigning to highlight the inequalities that the Defense of Marriage Act creates.
“It literally takes away rights from soldiers,” Hill told TPM in a phone interview Monday. For instance, if his husband, Josh Snyder, were killed while Hill was serving overseas, Snyder wouldn’t be legally recognized as a family member under DOMA. “For me not to be able to go home and bury him is crazy,” Hill said.
The Web video, recorded for the Servicemembers Legal Defense Network, tells the story of how Hill and Snyder fell in love — and how Hill came to serve in the military. Hill’s dad was a Vietnam War veteran. “I really wanted to join the Army … to honor my dad,” Hill says in the video. “I was very, very proud.”
The couple married in Washington, D.C. while Hill was on a leave of absence last May. After Hill asked his question during the September debate — whether the Republican presidential candidates would try reinstate “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” — he said that no one he was serving with said anything negative to him. He hadn’t told his fellow soldiers in Iraq he was gay beforehand.
In addition to the web video, Hill and Snyder joined a lawsuit, filed by the SLDN in 2011, challenging DOMA.
“All I want, as a soldier, is to fight for people’s equal rights,” Hill told TPM. “This is an extension of that.”
Watch the video:
David Taintor is TPM’s News Editor. He contributes to TPM’s Livewire coverage, among other areas. David is from Chanhassen, Minnesota, where, yes, it gets very cold. Reach him at taintor [at] talkingpointsmemo.com