Mitt Romney on the Issues: LGBTQ Equality

Want to know where Mitt Romney stands on LGBTQ issues? He once said, "I'll be better than Ted Kennedy" on gay rights. But has he been?

Equalitygiving.org has put together this rundown on his positions, citing his own words in many instances, on LGBT issues and equality.

OPPOSES EQUALITY GOAL: HATE CRIMES
His position on federal Hate Crimes legislation is not known.
However, it is known that as a Governor he vetoed funding for the Governor's Task Force on Hate Crimes.

OPPOSES EQUALITY GOAL: NON DISCRIMINATION AT THE FEDERAL LEVEL
At Meet the Press, Dec. 16, 2007:
"MR. RUSSERT:  You said that you would sponsor the Employment Nondiscrimination Act.  Do you still support it?
GOV. ROMNEY:  At the state level.  I think it makes sense at the state level for states to put in provision of this.
MR. RUSSERT:  Now, you said you would sponsor it at the federal level.
GOV. ROMNEY:  I would not support at the federal level."

OPPOSED EQUALITY GOAL: MILITARY --- REPEAL DON'T ASK, DON'T TELL*
Des Moines Register editorial board, December 2011: “How do you feel about gays serving openly in the military?”
Governor Romney: “That’s already occurred. I’m not planning on reversing that at this stage."
eQualityGiving commentary: Romney stated before the repeal of DADT, that he thought the DADT policy "seemed to be working" and "I wouldn't change it at this time." (Presidential candidate debate June 2007)
*Note that Don't Ask Don't Tell can be "decertified" by the military at any time without approval from Congress.

OPPOSES EQUALITY GOAL: MARRIAGE EQUALITY
Mitt Romney quotes opposing same sex marriage--from his official website: "That is why it is so important to preserve traditional marriage – the joining together of one man and one woman. As president, Mitt will not only appoint an Attorney General who will defend the Defense of Marriage Act – a bipartisan law passed by Congress and signed by President Clinton – but he will also champion a Federal Marriage Amendment to the Constitution defining marriage as between one man and one woman."
Additionally, Mitt Romney gave $10,000 through his PAC to fund the National Organization for Marriage campaign against Prop. 8 in California to remove a right already granted.
Mitt Romney quotes opposing civil unions. On May 8, 2012 he stated: "Well, when these issues were raised in my state of Massachusetts, I indicated my view, which is I do not favor marriage between people of the same gender, and I do not favor civil unions if they are identical to marriage other than by name. My view is the domestic partnership benefits, hospital visitation rights, and the like are appropriate but that the others are not.”
Romney's position is more anti-equality than George W. Bush, who before his 2004 re-election, stated that he supported civil unions.
Since he only supports domestic partnerships and he leaves this to the states, this raises some important practical questions. Here are four questions:
1.    Does he support survival social security benefits for gay couples?

2.    Should the states be allowed to deny gay couples hospital visitation rights?

3.    Does he thinks that same-sex couples should be able to file joint tax returns?

4.    Should immigrants get green cards when they marry a same-sex US citizen?

Mitt Romney also signed the 2012 pledge from the National Organization for Marriage, which includes:
•    Supporting a Federal Marriage Amendment
•    Nominating conservative judges for Supreme Court and Federal bench
•    Defending the Defense of Marriage Act vigorously in court
•    Establishing a presidential commission on religious liberty
•    Putting marriage equality for a vote in the District of Columbia

OPPOSES EQUALITY GOAL: FREEDOM OF GENDER
As Governor, Romney tried to abolish a parade for gay youth that had a cross-dressing parade master.
There is no public mention of his support or opposition for other transgender-related goals such as birth certificates, driver's license, etc.

UNKNOWN SUPPORT FOR EQUALITY GOAL: PROTECTING YOUTH
Mitt Romney signed a proclamation for the Massachusetts Gay/Straight Pride Day in 2004.
He also had a rocky relationship with the Massachusetts Commission on Gay and Lesbian Youth, including reducing its budget from $1.6 M per year to $125,000.
Mitt Romney eliminated all funding for hate crimes prevention, including the publication of a bullying prevention guide for middle and high schools.

NEUTRAL ON EQUALITY GOAL: SAME SEX PARENTING RIGHTS
Mitt Romney quotes on adoption for same-gender parents on May 5, 2012: “So I simply acknowledge the fact that gay adoption is legal in all states but one.”


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