Obama vs. Romney: Gay Rights

Experts and political pundits say gay rights is not a deciding campaign issue, but for millions of LGBT Americans what the candidates say they will or will not do in regard to their rights to marry and to equal workplace protections matters greatly.

Here’s where gay rights and gay marriage officially falls on each candidate’s platform, and what they say they’ll do about it, according to their websites.

  • As president, Romney will appoint an attorney general who will defend the Defense of Marriage Act – a law that defines marriage as the union between a man and a woman.
  • Romney will also champion a federal marriage amendment to the Constitution defining marriage as between one man and one woman.
  • First sitting president to publicly announce his support for marriage for same-sex couples.
  • Believes LGBT Americans should be treated fairly and equally.
  • Obama repealed “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell,” so that gay and lesbian service members no longer have to lie about who they are to serve the country their country.
  • Endorsed the Respect for Marriage Act, a proposed bill that would repeal the Defense of Marriage Act and require the federal government to recognize gay marriages.
  • Signed the Matthew Shepard and James Byrd, Jr. Hate Crimes Prevention Act, expanding the U.S. hate-crime law to include crimes motivated by a victim’s actual or perceived gender, sexual orientation, gender identity, or disability.
  • Extended hospital visitation and medical decision-making rights to LGBT couples.