The presidential campaign season came to a close with virtually no reference to LGBT issues — including the hot-button issue of same-sex marriage — in mainstream discourse between President Obama and Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney.
In each of the three presidential debates and the vice presidential debate, not a single reference to LGBT issues was made either by moderators or the participating candidates.
There were some exceptions to this rule. In an Obama radio spot that aired close to Election Day on stations intended for younger listeners, a woman chides others who don’t intend to go to the polls.
“What are you going to tell them,” the woman asks. “You were just too busy? You didn’t think it mattered? Is that what you’re going to tell your friends who can’t get married? The ones who couldn’t serve openly in the military?”
References to the LGBT community also came up numerous times during the Democratic National Convention, such as when Obama said the United States is a place where “we don’t think that government is the source of all our problems — any more than are welfare recipients, or corporations, or unions, or immigrants, or gays, or any other group we’re told to blame for our troubles.” Obama also touted “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” repeal in his campaign appearances in swing states.