After years of struggling for attention and recognition from the nation’s political parties, gays and lesbians have catapulted to the forefront of the Democratic convention here, prominent on the stage, in speeches, in the platform and at parties that go on after the proceedings have finished.
The turnaround has surprised even gay leaders, who just four years ago were frustrated in their attempt to get marriage equality mentioned in prime time. Many spent the first two years of the Obama presidency criticizing President Obama for failing to move to fulfill a campaign promise to eliminate the ban on gays serving openly in the military.
“I have certainly never attended a convention where visibility is as significant as it has been at this convention,” said Representative Tammy Baldwin, a gay Wisconsin Democrat who is running for the Senate and is set to address the convention on Thursday. “There is amazing progress to celebrate.”