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(Editor’s note: San Diego Gay & Lesbian News has an exclusive local media partnership with QNotes in presenting special LGBT community-oriented coverage of the 2012 Democratic National Convention, which will be Sept. 4-6 in Charlotte, N.C.)
CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- With flags, banners and signs flying as chants and applause filled Time Warner Cable Arena, President Barack Obama on Thursday accepted his nomination to run again for president.
Like the rest of the three-day 2012 Democratic National Convention, Obama's acceptance speech hit on a variety of themes as varied as economic recovery, healthcare, immigration reform, religious diversity, national defense, energy policy and civil rights.
Some of the evening's loudest cheers came after several mentions of Obama's successful capture and killing of Osama Bin Laden.
The president also addressed Republicans directly, chiding their intense focus on Russia as an international enemy at their Republican Convention in Tampa, Fla.
"After all, you don't Russia -- not al Qaeda -- our number one enemy unless your still stuck in a Cold War time warp," Obama said.
Obama also stressed the importance of economic recovery without hurting working Americans. "You can choose a future where we reduce our deficit without wrecking our middle class," he said.
"I refuse to ask middle class families to give up their deductions for owning a home or raising their kids just to pay for another millionaire's tax cut," Obama said. "I refuse to ask students to pay more for college; or kick children out of Head Start programs, or eliminate health insurance for millions of Americans who are poor and elderly or disabled -- all so those with the most can pay less. I'm not going along with that. And I will never turn Medicare into a voucher. No American should ever have to spend their golden years at the mercy of insurance companies. They should retire with the care and dignity they have earned."
Gay Americans were also mentioned at least three times in the speech, as Obama stood up for minority groups traditionally scapegoated for the nation's challenges.
"We don't think that government can solve all of our problems," Obama asserted. "But we don't think that government is the source of all our problems – any more than are welfare recipients, or corporations, or unions, or immigrants, or gays, or any other group we're told to blame for our troubles," Obama added to great applause and "LGBT for Obama" signs waved in the crowd.
Gay members of the U.S. Armed Services were also given a nod, as Obama said those gathered at the convention and those who voted for him are the reason "why selfless soldiers won't be kicked out of the military because of who they are or who they love."
Obama also addressed voter apathy. "If you turn away now -- if you buy into the cynicism that the change we fought for isn't possible…well, change will not happen," he said. If you give up on the idea that your voice can make a difference, then other voices will fill the void: lobbyists and special interests; the people with the $10 million checks who are trying to buy this election and those who are making it harder for you to vote; Washington politicians who want to decide who you can marry, or control health care choices that women should make for themselves."
Obama's final remarks resulted in deafening applause, chants of "U.S.A." and "four more years."
With 61 days until the election, the campaigns now enter the final stage of the election season.
Watch President Obama's DNC Speech: 'I Have Never Been More Hopeful About America'
VP Joe Biden on Pres. Obama: 'I Don't See Him in Sound Bites. I Watch Him in Action'
Watch DNC Video About President Obama's Support For Gay Marriage
Watch DNC Video on Don't Ask-Don't Tell
Watch President Clinton Deliver Nomination Address at the DNC
(2012 Democratic National Convention coverage is provided by San Diego Gay & Lesbian News, the most-read LGBT news source in Southern California, and QNotes, the leading LGBT news source in the Carolinas.)