Mitt Romney on Civil Rights
Former Republican Governor (MA)
A: I'd far prefer having the representatives of the people make that decision than justices. But I believe the issue of marriage should be decided at the federal level. People move from state to state; they have children. If one state recognizes a marriage and the other does not, what's the right of that child? What kind of divorce proceeding would there be in a state that didn't recognize a marriage in the first place? Marriage is not an activity that goes on within the walls of a state. Marriage's status should be constant across the country. I believe we should have a federal amendment in the constitution that defines marriage as a relationship between a man and woman, because I believe the ideal place to raise a child is in a home with a mom and a dad.
The issue grew more intense, but Bush's rhetoric did not. Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney was forced into a battle with his legislature in an effort to overturn the decision.
To discourage resistance, gay marriage supporters decided those who disagreed with them had to be bigots. This made gay marriage the kind of issue most political candidates dread--not because they don't know where they stand, but because no one likes being branded a hater.
In a 1994 letter to the Log Cabin Republicans, who advocate gay rights, Romney said he was in favor of “gays and lesbians being able to serve openly and honestly” in the military. He now says it would be a mistake to interfere with the “don’t ask, don’t tell policy.”
This one comes at the top of my list for 2007, for two reasons.
(1) Romney was not speaking off the cuff. He had plenty of time to think about what he was saying and do his research. The Boston Herald quoted Romney as saying that “my father and I marched with King” as far back as 1978.
(2) He continued to defend the statement after it was challenged, arguing about the meaning of the word “saw.”
As governor of Michigan, George Romney supported the civil rights movement, but the Romney campaign has not been able to show that he ever marched with King. Rather than acknowledge the mistake, the campaign put the Politico website in touch with eyewitnesses who claimed that they had seen George Romney “hand in hand.” Contemporaneous newspaper reports show that the two men were in different parts of the country on the date in question.
A: Intelligence and surveillance have proven to be some of the most effective national security tools we have to protect our nation. Our most basic civil liberty is the right to be kept alive and the President should not hesitate to use every legal tool at his disposal to keep America safe.
A: All US citizens are entitled to due process, including at least some type of habeas corpus relief regardless whether they are designated unlawful enemy combatants or not.
A: At the state level. I think it makes sense for states to put in provision of this. I would not support at the federal level, and I changed in that regard because I think that policy makes more sense to be implemented at the state level. If you’re looking for someone who’s never changed any positions on any policies, then I’m not your guy. I learn from experience.
The status of marriage, if it’s allowed among the same sex individuals in one state is going to spread to the entire nation. And that’s why it’s important to have a national standard for marriage. And I’m committed to making sure that we reinforce the institution of marriage in this country by insisting that all states have a right to have marriage as defined as between a man and a woman; and we don’t have unelected judges saying we’re going to impose same-sex marriage where it was clearly not in their state constitution.
My state’s constitution was written by John Adams. It isn’t there. I’ve looked. The people need to speak on this issue and make sure that marriage is preserved as between a man and a woman.
A: Well, of course, we remind people that this is a nation that recognizes the equality of all individuals. We also want to make sure that our nation is kept safe. And we’re going to pursue any avenue we have to, to assure that people who might be preaching or teaching doctrines of hate or terror are going to be followed into a church or into a school or a mosque or wherever they might be.
“I agree with 3000 years of recorded history. I believe marriage is a sacred institution between a man and a woman and I have been rock solid in my support of traditional marriage. Marriage is first and foremost about nurturing and developing children. It’s unfortunate that those who choose to defend the institution of marriage are often demonized.”
(BEGIN VIDEO)Q: Do you stand by that?
ROMNEY: He is pro-choice & pro-gay marriage & anti-gun, and that’s a tough combination in a Republican primary.
ROMNEY: That was very early in the process, in March. He wasn’t a candidate yet. I think I have a better perspective on his views now. I’d rather let him speak for his own positions. I can tell you that I am pro-life and that I’m opposed to same-sex marriage, and I support the Second Amendment.
GIULIANI: The reality is that I support the Second Amendment. I clearly believe that marriage should be between a man and a woman, although I did support domestic partnerships and still do. And [we should] put our emphasis on reducing abortions & increasing the number of adoptions
ROMNEY: No, actually, when I first heard of the “Don’t ask, don’t tell” policy, I thought it sounded awfully silly. I didn’t think that would be very effective. And I turned out to be wrong. It’s been the policy now in the military for what, 10, 15 years, and it seems to be working. This is not the time to put in place a major change, a social experiment, in the middle of a war going on. I wouldn’t change it at this point. We can look at down the road. But it does seem to me that we have much bigger issues as a nation we ought to be talking about than that policy right now.
McCAIN: I think it would be a terrific mistake to even reopen the issue. The policy is working. And I am convinced that that’s the way we can maintain this greatest military. Let’s not tamper with them.
When legislators waited until after the 2006 elections to recess with the intent of killing a proposed amendment to the Massachusetts Constitution restoring traditional marriage--an amendment that had been backed by 170,000 signatures & years of lobbying--Romney refused to go quietly. He organized a rally of thousands outside the capitol, blasting the legislators for refusing to allow a vote: “Last week, 109 legislators decided to abandon the constitution and violate their oath of office. For the constitution plainly states that when a qualified petition is placed before them, the legislature SHALL vote.”
Romney’s ire was directed not at those legislators who would have voted against allowing the amendment to be on the ballot, but at the 109 lawmakers who refused to allow the vote on the ballot to be held
Marriage is a fundamental and universal social institution. It encompasses many obligations and benefits affecting husband and wife, father and mother, son and daughter. It is the foundation of a harmonious family life. It is the basic building block of society: the development, productivity and happiness of new generations are bound to the family unit. That benefits are given to married couples and not to singles or gay couples has nothing to do with discrimination; it has everything to do with building a stable new generation and nation.
“Given the decision of the Massachusetts Supreme Court, America faces questions regarding the institution of marriage. Should we abandon marriage as we know it?...
I join with those who support a federal constitutional amendment. Massachusetts has a law that attempts to restrain this infringement by restricting marriages of out-of-state couples to those where no impediment to marry exists in their home state. Even with this law, valid same-sex marriages will migrate to other states. For each state to preserve its own power in relation to marriage, a federal amendment to define marriage is necessary.“
Like the vast majority of Americans, I’ve opposed same-sex marriage, but I’ve also opposed unjust discrimination against anyone. The debate over same-sex marriage is not a debate over tolerance. It is a debate about the purpose of the institution of marriage and it is a debate about activist judges who make up the law rather than interpret the law.
I agree with 3,000 years of recorded history. I believe marriage is a sacred institution between a man and a woman and I have been rock solid in my support of traditional marriage. Marriage is first and foremost about nurturing and developing children. It’s unfortunate that those who choose to defend the institution of marriage are often demonized.
Currently, the state party platform does not mention same-sex marriage or voter initiatives. By contrast, the Republican National Committee platform supports President Bush’s call for a constitutional amendment banning gay marriage.
Romney suggested that the GOP put language in the platform endorsing a voter referendum on certain issues [like gay marriage].
The state Democratic Party has voted to endorse gay marriage in its platform. The national Democratic Party does not go that far, but calls for equal benefits for gay couples and condemns a nationwide constitutional ban on gay marriage
We should acknowledge the Creator as did the Founders--in ceremony and word. He should remain on our currency, in our pledge, in the teaching of our history, and during the holiday season, nativity scenes and menorahs should be welcome in our public places. Our greatness would not long endure without judges who respect the foundation of faith upon which our constitution rests. I will take care to separate the affairs of government from any religion, but I will not separate us from ‘the God who gave us liberty.’
Nor would I separate us from our religious heritage. American values are not unique to any one denomination. They belong to the great moral inheritance we hold in common. They are the firm ground on which Americans of different faiths meet and stand as a nation, united.
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