Mitt Romney - Massachusetts Governor:
Mitt Romney was the governor of Massachusetts when that state became the first in the United States to legalize gay marriage. Does that mean Mitt Romney supports gay marriage and gay rights? This article will look at Mitt Romney and his stand on issues of importance to gays and lesbians.
Mitt Romney's Political background:
Mitt Romney grew up in Michigan where his father was a three-term governor. His mother also ran unsuccessfully for the U.S. Senate. In 1994 Mitt Romney tried to unseat Massachusetts Democratic senator Edward M. Kennedy. He owned a private equity firm in Boston when he was called in to work on the scandal-marred 2002 Salt Lake City Olympics. In 2002 he won the Massachusetts governor's race and served one term. He did not run for re-election.
Mitt Romney unsuccessfully ran for the 2008 Republican presidential nomination.
Mitt Romney as Massachusetts Governor:
As governor of Massachusetts, Romney was credited with closing a $3 billion budget deficit without raising taxes and pushing a comprehensive overhaul of health insurance system the state. Although Massachusetts was the first state to legalize gay marriage, Mitt Romney has made it clear he is opposed to gay marriage.
Mitt Romney's gay rights flip flop:
When running for senate in 1994, Mitt Romney wrote a letter promising a gay Republican group he would be a stronger advocate for gay rights than Ted Kennedy. Romney was trying to get an endorsement from the Log Cabin Republicans. The letter said, "...as we seek to establish full equality for America's gay and lesbian citizens, I will provide more effective leadership than my opponent." Since that time, Romney has made it clear that he opposes gay marriage and he is trying to position himself as a conservative candidate for U.S. president, opposing most rights for gays and lesbians.
Federal Non-Discrimination for Gays and Lesbians:
When Mitt Romney ran for Senate in 1994, he favored a federal nondiscrimination law for gays and lesbians, but after his term as Massachusetts governor, he now says he no longer favors nondiscrimination laws for gays and lesbians at the federal level, only on the state level.
Pledging to Oppose Same-Sex Marriage:
Mitt Romney on Gay Marriage:
Mitt Romney has opposed gay marriage since his state became the first in the U.S. to legalize gay marriage. He said, "I believe that the family is the foundation of America - and that it needs to be protected and strengthened."
He told a group of republican women, "Every child in America deserves a mom and a dad. We've got to have marriage before we have babies if we're going to have parental involvement in our schools."
Mitt Romney is against Civil Unions:
When asked by Chris Matthews of MSNBC about what he thinks the difference between marriage and civil unions is, Romney said, "Well, I would rather have neither, to tell you the truth. I'd rather that domestic partner benefits, such as hospital - hospital visitation rights for same-sex couples. I don't want civil unions or gay marriage." He continued, "I'm going to want to see a marriage limited to a man and a woman. I don't want to see civil union either.
Of course, if we find ourselves in a setting where the only choice is between civil union and marriage, I will prefer civil union. But I would prefer neither."
Mitt Romney on Hate Crimes:
Mitt Romney opposes sexual orientation and transgender-inclusive hate crimes laws. According to the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force he vetoed a bill funding hate crimes prevention in 2003.
Is Mitt Romney less conservative than he was in 2008?:
When Mitt Romney ran for the Republican presidential nomination in 2008, he touted himself as the most socially conservative candidate. In 2011, it seems he may be toning things down a bit. In a June interview on CNN
he said he is still opposed to gay marriage, but does support some gay rights, like equal rights in employment and that he had some gay members of his staff when he was governor. He said he appointed a couple of judges he later found out were gay.
When asked if, as a Mormon, he believed homosexuality was a sin, he said, "I separate quite distinctly matter of personal faith from the leadership that one has in a political sense."