If you paid close attention, Mitt Romney made a number of allusions to same-sex marriage while going out of his way not to say "gay" during Wednesday's debate in Arizona.
"We have to have a president who is willing to say that the best opportunity an individual can give to their unborn child is an opportunity to be born into a home with a mother and father," he said, for example, at the end of a lengthy attack on the Obama administration for requiring health insurance coverage of contraceptives.
Romney got only slightly more explicit when twice bragging about siding with the Catholic Church in his state on whether same-sex couples should be able to adopt children. In both cases, Romney wasn't asked about adoption, but he brought it up anyway as an example of fighting for "religious conscience."
Romney is referencing the disagreement over whether the Catholic Church had the right to discriminate against same-sex couples who married in the state even while it received public money to conduct the service. The church lost that fight.
While highlighting his credentials as a social conservative, Romney seemed to refer to same-sex parents as "homes where there was a mom and a dad on a preferential basis."
"When I worked very closely with the leaders of the Catholic Church, I met with the cardinal a number of times and with his emissaries," he said. "We talked about the issues we were concerned about. We battled, for instance, to help the Catholic Church stay in the adoption business. The amazing thing was that while the Catholic Church was responsible for half of the adoptions in my state — half the adoptions — they had to get out of that business because the legislature wouldn't support me and give them an exemption from having to place children in homes where there was a mom and a dad on a preferential basis. Absolutely extraordinary. We have to have individuals who will stand up for religious conscience."