Snyder-Hill has become a world famous gay rights activist thanks in part to Rick Santorum who's moving closer to obscurity

Stephen Snyder-Hill
Stephen Snyder-Hill & Rick Santorum

Steve Snyder-Hill and Rick Santorum met in a rather unconventional way. In September of 2011, the former senator was participating in a Fox-sponsored Republican presidential debate, and the Army officer was on active duty in Iraq. Thousands of miles apart, one moment would link them together for all time.

This particular evening, Fox was accepting questions for the candidates submitted via You Tube, and Steve Snyder-Hill had sent one in. Megyn Kelly introduced Steve’s question, directing it at Rick Santorum. The graphics department showed a map of Iraq, there was a fade, and then a man appeared on the screen.

He was sitting in a room, wearing an Army tee shirt, arms as big as tree trunks. He looked a little nervous. And what he wanted to know, this Army officer sitting in the middle of the desert, was if one of the Republicans on that stage were to become president, would they reinstate Don’t Ask Don’t Tell. Steve Snyder-Hill was (and is) a gay soldier.

The first thing you heard at the end of the question were boos. Not many, maybe ten, but they were audible. The second thing you heard was Rick Santorum, a man running for the highest office in this country, completely ignore Major Snyder-Hill’s service, ignore the boos, and launch into a diatribe about social experimentation and how sex has no place in the military. It was a stunning moment in bigotry. And to be fair, not one of the candidates on that stage said a damn word about the booing, nor did any of them thank Snyder-Hill for his service. They all just stood there like the cowards they are.

Steve’s husband Josh was watching that debate. Somewhere, underneath the pride and the sorrow, he knew everything was about to change. Suddenly, while Steve’s unit was being sent home, Josh was appearing on cable news programs and being interviewed by his local television stations. Steve and Josh had joined other same-sex military couples in a lawsuit, challenging DOMA, which was making national news. President Obama in an emotional moment, addressed the booing of Steve Snyder-Hill, saying in part:

You want to be Commander in Chief? You can start by standing up for the men and women who wear the uniform of the United States, even when it’s not politically convenient.

Now we are in the first moments of 2014, and what a difference two years makes. Steve and Josh have become national, if not international heroes, for their courage and their passion. They created Marriage Evolved, and through that group, came up with the most wonderful idea: Take 25 same-sex couples from Columbus, Ohio to Washington, DC to get married.

The C-Bus of Love, Steve Snyder-HillThe C-Bus of Love was the brainchild of Josh and a few friends. The plan was to have couples submit applications, from which the best would be chosen for the C-Bus of Love. Josh was terrified no one would apply, but to his great delight, hundreds and hundreds of people sent in emails, letters and videos, vying for the chance to take the next step in their relationship. The couples were chosen, and on June 21, 2013, Steve, Josh and 25 absolutely giddy lovebirds traveled to Washington, DC to say “I do.”

Steve’s story has been featured in major publications nationwide, most recently on the front page of the L.A. Times. He wrote a book, a book that I was privileged to read when it was a rough draft. “Soldier of Change” publishes in September of this year with a foreword by none other than George Takei. For Steve and Josh Snyder-Hill, the past two years have brought them to the forefront of the LGBT movement, allowed the world a glimpse of their magnificent love story and given us two of the finest heroes we could possible want.

Rick Santorum has also been in the news, but for very different reasons. In October of 2011, during a speech, Santorum stated that after reading John F. Kennedy’s famous 1960 speech about the separation of church and state, he wanted to “throw up.” When asked in February of 2012 if he stood by that statement, Santorum replied:

I don’t believe in an America where the separation of church and state is absolute. The idea that the church can have no influence or no involvement in the operation of the state is absolutely antithetical to the objectives and vision of our country.

The interviewer, George Stephanopoulos, asked Santorum if he really wanted to throw up after reading Kennedy’s statement on the separation of church and state. Santorum replied:

Well, yes, absolutely. To say that people of faith have no role in the public square? You bet that makes you throw up. What kind of country do we live in that says only people of non-faith can come into the public square and make their case? That makes me throw up.

Santorum also made headlines when he compared emergency contraception like Plan B to abortion. Santorum, along with many other conservatives, believes any type of contraception is wrong, and has stated his strong objections to contraception many times. And of course, there are his draconian views on marriage equality. This past September, Santorum blamed the television show “Will and Grace” for the empowerment of LGBT activism and same-sex couples’ demand for equality. Finally, just Google Santorum, or at least look up why Dan Savage became Rick Santorum’s worst nightmare.

soldier of change, Steve Snyder-HillSteve Snyder-Hill and Rick Santorum met via You Tube on a September evening. In the two years since that fateful question, Steve and his husband have changed the way the country sees gay members of the military, helped 25 couples get married, written a book (foreword by George Takei) and become heroes for millions of people. In that same span of time, Rick Santorum has moved ever closer to obscurity, jumped into the fringes of the right wing, and proven he knows absolutely nothing of importance.

Hooah.

5 COMMENTS

  1. “The second thing you heard was Rick Santorum, a man running for the highest office in this country, completely ignore Major Snyder-Hill’s service, ignore the boos, and launch into a diatribe about social experimentation and how sex has no place in the military.”

    No, Santorum did NOT “ignore the boos.” He affirmed them, with an enthusiastic and mutually disgusted “yeah,” before beginning his diatribe.

  2. For someone who talks a great deal about morals, Rick Santorum is one of the most immoral, dishonest, simple-minded human beings alive today. He is the least Christian of so the many self proclaimed Christians around. When he says, “The idea that the church can have no influence or no involvement in the operation of the state is absolutely antithetical to the objectives and vision of our country.” – he means HIS country and the country of those who think like him.

  3. Santorum characterizes JFK’s position as “To say that people of faith have no role in the public square? ”

    This sort of dishonest restatement of an opponent’s position is almost standard on the right. I have wing-nuts do it to me on the internet, in blog discussions, all the time.

    Are they stupid? Dishonest? Or both?

    -dlj.

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