November 1, 2012 | by Chris Johnson
Obama vs. Romney on LGBT issues
President Obama (right) and Mitt Romney are set to square off on domestic issues at next week's debate in Denver (Blade photo by Michael Key)

Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney and President Obama are making their final push in the days before Election Day (Blade file photo by Michael Key)

The Washington Blade breaks down some of the most frequently cited LGBT issues and where each Presidential candidate stands.

MARRIAGE EQUALITY

OBAMA: SUPPORTS

In May, President Obama ended his 19-month “evolution” and expressed his support for marriage rights for gay couples.

ROMNEY: OPPOSES

Mitt Romney has said he opposes same-sex marriage as well as civil unions that offer the same legal benefits of marriage. He’s campaigned on support for a Federal Marriage Amendment, saying states shouldn’t have different rules with respect to marriage.

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DOMA REPEAL

OBAMA: SUPPORTS

Obama endorsed legislation that would repeal the Defense of Marriage Act known as the Respect for Marriage Act. The Obama administration also no longer defends the Defense of Marriage Act in court and has said laws related to sexual orientation should be subjected to heightened scrutiny.

ROMNEY: OPPOSES

Romney supports DOMA and has pledged to resume defending the law in court should he win the White House.

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“DON’T ASK, DON’T TELL”

OBAMA: OPPOSES

In 2010, Obama signed legislation to repeal “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell,” which was lifted from the books nearly a year later following certification. Still, openly transgender service is prohibited and the Pentagon has yet to make administrative changes to afford certain benefits to gay service members with same-sex partners.

ROMNEY: SUPPORTS

Romney once expressed support for “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell,” but his most recent statement on the issue, made December 2011, is that he doesn’t plan to return to that policy now that the law has been repealed.

UNITING AMERICAN FAMILIES ACT

OBAMA: MOSTLY SUPPORTS

The Obama administration has taken steps to ensure bi-national same-sex couples can stay together in the United States — most recently issuing a memorandum saying foreign nationals without legal status in same-sex relationships should be low priority for deportation cases. The White House has suggested Obama wants to include language for bi-national couples in comprehensive immigration reform. Obama has yet to endorse the Uniting American Families Act, but has expressed support for its general principles.

ROMNEY: UNKNOWN

Romney hasn’t publicly addressed the issue of bi-national same-sex couples, but has said he supports no amnesty for undocumented immigrants and wants to impose a policy where immigrants without legal status will want to self-deport.

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EMPLOYMENT NON-DISCRIMINATION ACT

OBAMA: SUPPORTS

Obama is a long-time supporter of ENDA, but the White House said he won’t issue at this time an executive order barring federal contractors from discriminating on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity.

ROMNEY: UNKNOWN

Romney’s last stated position on ENDA was in 2007 when he said states could implement workplace non-discrimination policies related to sexual orientation, but he doesn’t support federal legislation. He hasn’t addressed the legislation over the course of the 2012 campaign.

Chris Johnson is Chief Political & White House Reporter for the Washington Blade. Johnson attends the daily White House press briefings and is a member of the White House Correspondents' Association. Follow Chris

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