LGBT Issues in the Decision 2012 Debates: A Help or a Hinderence?

The Washington Blade notes that Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) issues were missing from the first 2012 Presidential Debate:

The 90-minute debate was virtually devoid of LGBT issues as the candidates clashed over broader economic issues and health care reform.

The most direct reference to LGBT issues came from Obama when he mentioned “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” repeal as part of a list of his accomplishments that he achieved through bipartisan effort.

Obama said he’ll “take ideas from anybody, Democrat or Republican” to advance the middle class and that strategy is how the administration passed small business tax cuts, enacted three trade agreements and “how we repealed ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell.’”


Romney made an oblique reference to social issues. He talked about the first line of the Declaration of Independence and protecting “religious tolerance and freedom” in the country, which sometimes has been interpreted as code for support of social conservatives.

See the full article

I am split on whether LGBT issues should or shouldn’t be included in the debates. On the one hand it’s a great opportunity to provide a stark contrast between you and the other candidate. It’s also an opportunity to provide some education to America about the lack of equality for LGBT citizens as well as providing some inspiration and hope to tons of young LGBT folks who would be lifted up by the mere mention of support from a candidate in such a high office. On the other hand, debates are often reduced to sound bites and we have yet to gain a clear and consistent majority of support among the general public. Would this turn off potential supporters or moderates? Would it provide greater inspiration to those who are against LGBT equality? What are your thoughts?

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