At the Republican presidential debate Thursday night, a soldier serving in Iraq asked a question of the candidates.

"In 2010, when I was deployed to Iraq, I had to lie about who I was, because I'm a gay soldier, and I didn't want to lose my job. My question is, under one of your presidencies, do you intend to circumvent the progress that's been made for gay and lesbian soldiers in the military?" asked Stephen Hill in a recorded video question.

Once the question was done, some members of the audience booed. The boos were loud and clear during the televised debate. A blogger, who was in the debate room, said there was only one or two people booing, it still produced a strong reaction.

Including from state Rep. John Kriesel.

Kriesel, a Republican lawmaker from Cottage Grove who served in Iraq, said the reaction was "pretty disgusting."

Whether it was one person or many "no one should be doing that," he said.

"People there are representing a party," said Kriesel, who repeatedly tweeted about the incident Friday morning. "It gives Republicans a bad name."

Kriesel said when he first entered the service he did not think about the recently-repealed Don't Ask, Don't Tell law that barred openly gay members from serving. But now, he said he feels: "If someone is willing to serve their country and risk their life, I don’t care if they are gay."

Kriesel, who wrote a book about losing his legs and two fellow soldiers in a roadside bomb and plans to campaign against the 2012 Minnesota ballot measure to ban gay marriage, was far from alone in his reaction.

"Booing a soldier serving our nation is uncalled for. If I were on stage, i would make that point," former White House Press Secretary Ari Fleischer tweeted during the debate.

Candidates and their surrogates joined in the condemnation.

Here's the video of the moment:

 

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