Street Talk

Should there have been any mention of LGBT issues at the debates?

Gavin Austin
student | Washington Square West
“No. It was a smart move on Obama’s part to avoid bringing that up. Unfor-tunately, it’s still a divisive issue. I really think it would have cost Obama some support if he brought it up. I give Romney credit for not trying to use it as a wedge against Obama.”
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What will be a popular Halloween costume this year?

Benjamin Gibson
graphic designer | Society Hill
“A highly decorated Eagle Scout, covered with merit badges and waving a rainbow flag. It’s an important statement to make. Gay men and boys are a significant part of the Boy Scouts community. They should be able to be themselves.”
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What recent LGBT event will go down in history?

Grant Smith
student | Center City
“The repeal of ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell.’ It was brave of Obama to push for that. No other president did something like that. It was long overdue. The people who benefited [from the repeal] will never forget it.”
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Should reparative therapy be banned for minors?

Aubrey DiDonato
student | Rittenhouse Square
“No. Maybe the child has to go through that experience before they’re able to move in a more positive direction. They might have to go through it to realize it’s not for them. It’s very sad that people have so much difficulty with same-sex attraction. I feel it’s a very nature thing.”
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Will same-sex marriage be approved in any voter referendums this November?

Tania Talbot
artist | Bella Vista
“No, not yet. It will need more time. The issue is becoming more acceptable, but we’re not quite there yet. I think voters will approve it in about three years, especially if Obama continues to be president. I believe strongly in marriage equality.”
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Should inmates be entitled to gender-reassignment surgery?

Esin Gok
student | Levittown
“No. The inmate doesn’t have to get the surgery to live. If they had cancer, that would be a different story. But as long as the inmate can still function, the taxpayers shouldn’t have to pay for it. The person just needs to learn how to live with their situation.”
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Is $700,000 an appropriate settlement in the Milton Hershey School HIV-discrimination case?

Alexa Byrd
student | Washington Square West
“It’s nice that they gave money to the student, and that they adopted a non-dis-crimination policy. But nobody is going to learn from this. Everyone connected with that school needs up-to-date sex education. It’s awful what happened to the student. I have the utmost sympathy for him.”
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What’s your reaction to heated rhetoric and name-calling in a political campaign?

Jinx Gilbert
model | South Philadelphia
“My reaction is one of curiosity. I’m always looking to see if the name-caller knows what they’re saying, and can elaborate on their opinions. People have freedom of speech. They can resort to name-calling. But I don’t see any value in name-calling in any situation.”
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What do you expect from the Democratic Convention?

Tytiana Branch
student | Southwest Philadelphia
“It will be pretty dull. They’ll just rubber-stamp Obama’s nomination for another four years [as president]. Obama will give a good speech. I’ll watch him on TV to see what he has to say. I always enjoy the way he gives a speech. But I’m not expecting any fireworks.”
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What do you expect from the Republican Convention?

David Schaevitz
physician | Center City
“If they’re smart, they’ll steer clear of social issues. The [U.S. Rep. Todd] Akin flap is hot right now. They [would be] better just to stick to the economy. But Romney will probably say something generic about family values. The convention will be a united show of force. It will be choreographed as such for the media. The Republicans are really good at being a solid bloc.”
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