US Election 2012: The sound and the fury
November 1, 2012
No, Mitt Romney has not called time on the social conservatives driving the anti-gay bigotry in the Republican Party. And no, President Obama has not had enough of the state-by-state shilly-shallying over gay marriage and magically decreed it legal everywhere. But as the presidential election of November 6 looms closer, there is something strange, and potentially heartening, going on in American politics around gay rights.
At the time of writing there has been barely a puff of acrid homophobia in the national campaign. In 2012 one would hope that would not be a cause for celebration, but in the polarised and vicious world of American politics the lack of overt homophobia, on the national stage at least, has been a relief and a surprise.
An important coda: this is written in mid-September before the campaign heats up in the swing states, where ‘wedge’ social issues such as gay rights can prove pivotal, and before the debates between the presidential candidates on October 3, 6 and 22 and vice presidential candidates (Democrat Joe Biden and Republican Paul Ryan) on October 11.
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