Obama camp pits president vs. Romney on LGBT rightsTop Highlights, Around the Nation Thursday, May 31st, 2012
WASHINGTON (CNN) – President Barack Obama’s recent decision to support same-sex marriage was the lead selling point against Mitt Romney in the president’s campaign announcement last week of a new drive to court the lesbian-gay-bisexual-transgender (LGBT) community.
“The choice we’re facing as a country and a community could not be clearer,” said Joe Solmonese, a national campaign co-chair and president of the Human Rights Campaign (HRC). “We could re-elect a leader who’s working with our community toward full equality under the law, or we could sit back and watch Mitt Romney take us back to where we started.”
His comments came on a conference call with reporters to discuss the rollout of a grassroots initiative titled, “Obama Pride: LGBT Americans for Obama.”
Along with phone banks, trainings and house parties to reach voters, the campaign’s plan may also target gay Republicans.
While the campaign did not lay out specific goals in urging gay GOP voters to cross over to the Democratic column, they stressed the importance of engaging the voting bloc now in the event Romney, who supports a federal marriage amendment, wins the election.
The campaign warned that Romney would be the most damaging president for LGBT rights, pointing to his call for a federal amendment, which would define marriage between a man and a woman, and his support for the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA).
While Romney has supported the right for same-sex couples to adopt, he has said he would leave any laws involving domestic partnership benefits and hospital visitation rights up to the states.
Political analysts say Obama regained some lost fanfare among his liberal base when he made his announcement in favor of marriage equality earlier this month.
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