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Mitt Romney Changes Position on Gay Rights

Posted on 1/3/2008 1:44:00 PM

Mitt Romney, the Republican president hopeful, was once a strong supporter of equal rights for gays. In 1994, during the Massachusetts Senate race, Mitt Romney's views on gay equality ran left to those of his opponent, Democrat veteran Ted Kennedy.

In 2006 Bay Windows, a Boston gay newspaper, published excerpts from a letter then written by Romney to the Log Cabin Republicans, seeking support in the race against Kennedy. He wrote, "If we are to achieve the goals we share, we must make equality for gays and lesbians a mainstream concern.” He went on to write, “My opponent cannot do this. I can and will.” Of course, Romney lost the round. However, it has to be pointed out that he fared better than most other candidates who had, in the past, contested against Kennedy.

Following his failure, Romney continued to woo the homosexual and lesbian community. As recently as 2002, when he was vying for governor, he was at pains to declare his solidarity with the gay community. In 2002, he attended the Boston Gay Pride Parade, and along with his running mate Kerry Healey, distributed fliers, which said, “Mitt and Kerry wish you a great Pride weekend.”

Subsequently however, Romney flip flopped and radically shifted from his position. He consistently opposed gay marriages and has become an outspoken defender of the institution of marriage, which he says, should be strictly defined as a union only between a man and a woman. Romney, in effect, simply used the gay issue in 1994 to project a reformist face—a strategy that, no doubt, helped him to become governor in 2002. Now, as a Presidential candidate, he has rejected this stand in favor of a more conservative right position that would ensure him his party's nomination. It is however doubtful whether he will succeed in fooling the voters. 

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