President Obama has offered his support for marriage equality: “Personally, it is important for me to go ahead and affirm that same-sex couples should be able to get married.”
On the same day, Mitt Romney reaffirmed his adamant opposition to marriage equality and civil unions:
“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.”
Having described himself as “one of the nation’s leading advocates” against same-sex marriage, Mitt Romney is pushing discriminatory positions that make him more extreme than many in his party. Here’s how Romney would roll back equal rights and stand against expansions of those rights in profound and fundamental ways.
Romney would amend the Constitution to discriminate against Americans for the first time in history
Romney vowed to “fight for a federal amendment [to the Constitution] that defines marriage as a relationship between a man and a woman.” Such an amendment could prohibit committed gay and lesbian couples from marrying, and prevent courts from guaranteeing LGBT couples the same rights as their fellow Americans.
The amendment would override state laws allowing gay marriage and, if enacted, would be the first time in history that the U.S. Constitution was changed to deny rights and enshrine—rather than eliminate—discrimination against Americans.
Romney is out of the mainstream when it comes to guaranteeing rights for same-sex couples
Civil unions give same-sex couples fundamental rights to inherit property, access Medicare, obtain family-leave benefits, and in some states, take advantage of adoption and hospital visitation rights. Romney is “proud of the fact” that he has opposed same-sex marriage and civil unions “from day one.” Instead, he believes that states should be allowed to roll back benefits for gay couples in domestic partnerships, including hospital visits. He said, “Each state can decide the benefits associated with people who live in domestic partnerships.”
This opposition to civil unions puts Romney far to the right of former President George W. Bush and even many of his endorsers, including Gov. Chris Christie, Jon Huntsman, and Sen. Olympia Snowe. Huntsman said, “I think civil unions are fair. I support them. I think there’s such a thing as equality under the law.”
Romney personally donated to anti-gay groups seeking to roll back LGBT rights in states
Romney’s Free and Strong America Super PAC donated $10,000 to the National Organization for Marriage, an anti-LGBT group dedicated to blocking progress on LGBT equality. The donation was made at the same time NOM pushed ads to support California’s Proposition 8, which reversed the state court’s decision to legalize gay marriage.
While President Obama stands on a long record of support for the LGBT community, Romney is seeking to make history with unprecedented efforts to deny equal rights for every American.