Vice-President Joe Biden

US Vice-President Joe Biden has called the booing of a gay soldier at a Republican presidential debate “reprehensible”.

The incident took place last week Thursday when Stephen Hill, a gay soldier deployed in Iraq, asked potential Republican presidential candidate Senator Rick Santorum a question about gays in the military in a pre-recorded video.

The question led to the audience booing the soldier, an action that the participants in the debate chose to remain silent on. Santorum later claimed that he hadn’t heard the booing.

Appearing on US talk show The View, Biden condemned the incident, saying that he had “a visceral response” to it.

“I’m not sure if it’s because my son spent a year in Iraq,” said Biden. “And I know my sons and all the kids with them… I don’t think they give a damn whether the guy firing a rifle to protect them is gay or straight. I don’t think they care about that. Look this kid risked his life. This kid is there for them. And I, quite frankly, I thought it was reprehensible.”

President Obama also commented on the incident on the weekend.

“You’ve got audiences cheering at the prospect of somebody dying because they don’t have health care and booing a service member in Iraq because they’re gay. That’s not reflective of who we are,” Obama said at a fund-raising meeting.

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