In 2010, the debate over gay rights, while a major issue for many groups, has not played a central role in the political debate surrounding most midterm elections. This is partially due to the economy taking center stage, and partially due to the fact that American society is just kind of over the whole thing, and is more tolerant of the LGBT community than ever before.
Read More →
Yet on the campaign trail, the divisions over Don't Ask Don't Tell and other gay rights causes can still run very deep between the two parties -- creating a clear distinction that popped up last night in a debate between the two nominees running for Senate in North Carolina.
The exchange between Sen. Richard Burr (R) and Secretary of State Elaine Marshall (D) isn't likely to change the election's outcome -- polls show Burr with a big lead, and most observers expect him to cruise to reelection this fall.
But the debate offered one of the clearest views of the differences between Republicans and Democrats over LGBT rights found this year. Marshall called DADT "governmental discrimination," equal to "judging people by the color of their hair, the color of their eyes, or the color of their skin, or other factors they have no control over."
Burr said he had no idea whether homosexuality is a choice or biological and bristled at the idea that the battle for racial Civil Rights is equatable to granting LGBT rights.