“Mr. Romney... He supports Federal legislation that would prohibit discrimination in the workplace against homosexuals but opposes legalizing gay marriages.” — New York Times, Oct 25, 1994
“I can tell you this, which is I believe gay individuals should enjoy tolerance and respect... At the same time, I believe that marriage should be reserved for a relationship between one man and one woman.” — Mitt Romney, Apr 2007
Governor Romney has maintained a consistent view regarding gay issues:
1.) Gays should be treated with respect and not be discriminated against,
2.) but traditional marriage must be preserved.
Some people may have observed separate statements or actions on these two points and misunderstood his platform (such as hearing quotes of him stating gays should be treated fairly and thinking he is or was for gay-marriage).
However, politics can be a vicious battle, and those who make a concerted effort to represent his platform in an inaccurately skewed, negative manner, are playing dirty politics, and generally have the knowledge or have done the research to know they are misrepresenting him.
Examples of this are gay-activists who do not want an effective candidate to win who will oppose their agenda of gay-marriage and possibly other initiatives that go beyond preventing discrimination and protecting constitutional rights,
or partisan political activists, partisan, biased or liberal websites and news outlets, and others fighting for a different candidate or cause, who want to erode his support with their smears.
Some people may have the opinion that not redefining marriage to include same-sex marriages is discriminating against gays. They have a right to that opinion, although as of this date (Feb 2008), a majority of voters disagree with that view. But they do not have a right to disallow and misconstrue the governor's opinion when it does not match their own.
Following are actions and statements showing the consistency of Governor Romney's platform, as stated above:
"Gay marriage featured prominently in Romney's 2002 election because everybody knew the Massachusetts supreme court was poised to rule on the matter. From the start, Romney made it clear that he believes marriage should exist only between a man and a woman."
"In all, there were seven couples who brought the suit that resulted in Massachusetts' court ruling on gay marriage last week [in 2003] ... In a momentous 4-to-3 ruling, it [the Supreme Judicial Court of Massachusetts] said gay couples have the right to marry in that state."
"Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney, a Republican, is urging the adoption of a state constitutional amendment to ban gay marriage."
"...in 2003, when the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court, in a 4-3 decision, ruled that marriage in the commonwealth would no longer be limited to unions between men and women, Romney pushed for an amendment to the state constitution that would outlaw gay marriage..."
This followed that successful approach used in Hawaii: ''...the Hawaii Supreme Court issued the first appellate-court ruling in favor of gay marriage (a ruling that never took effect because Hawaiians voted to amend their constitution)...''
In Massachusetts, ''The state senate had asked the court if it could establish civil unions to meet the constitutional requirement of equality for gay couples set forth in an earlier ruling. "The answer," the court replied, "is 'No.'" ''
"The governor wants the court to postpone same-sex marriages until a constitutional amendment banning them has a chance to be approved by voters. That would not be until November 2006, because the amendment must be passed again in the 2005-6 legislative session...
"Last month, when the constitutional amendment received preliminary approval from the legislature, Mr. Romney, a Republican, asked the state attorney general, Thomas F. Reilly, to ask the court to stay the May 17 start date. But Mr. Reilly, a Democrat ... refused to represent Mr. Romney or appoint another lawyer to do so, ...
"State law requires the governor to be represented in court by the attorney general or someone appointed by him. Mr. Romney said he was asking the legislature for a one-time exception to that law in this case, so he could petition the court directly.
" ''The fact that there has been the passage of an amendment by the legislature is such a dramatic change in circumstances that we would deem it appropriate for the court to consider whether or not they want to extend'' the start date for same-sex marriage, he said.
"Mr. Romney's move, while legal, seemed unlikely to succeed. Although the Democratic-dominated legislature voted 105 to 92 in March  in favor of a constitutional amendment banning gay marriage and creating civil unions, legislative leaders seemed reluctant on Thursday to let the governor".
"Romney, however, has used his bully pulpit to call for a total ban on gay marriage. The legislature complied, but only on an amendment that also permitted civil unions. Romney wasn't happy about this. He also had no alternative. ''If I have to choose between gay marriages and civil unions,'' he says, ''I'll choose civil unions every time.'' "
(Mitt Romney is opposed to civil unions but is more opposed to gay marriage.)
" ''I believe that the best and most reliable way to protect traditional marriage is through a federal marriage amendment, as opposed to letting activist judges make policy on a state-by-state basis,'' he [Governor Romney] said in a statement.
"GOP gubernatorial candidate Kerry Healey , who unlike Romney supports civil unions but not gay marriage, said through a spokeswoman that states should be given flexibility to decide the issue on their own."
Although "the Massachusetts court, which gave state legislators six months to implement its ruling, does not appear to have provided any wiggle room..." (TIME - Popping The Question)
''Governor Mitt Romney and a top House lawmaker said yesterday that they believe the justices would be satisfied if lawmakers craft a civil union statute that grants many of the benefits of marriage but does not legally sanction same-sex marriage.
''Romney and state Representative Eugene L. O'Flaherty, the House chairman of the Committee on the Judiciary, said seperately that they do not support legislation to allow gays to marry...
''Meanwhile, Senate President Robert E. Travaglini ... said his legal advisors told him there is virtually no wiggle room to avoid a system ... to grant marriage licenses to same-sex couples...
''The governor, who said the court ruling runs counter to the "3,000 years of recorded history" of marriage, appeared yesterday on NBC's "Today" and ABC's "Good Morning America." ...
''[But] Outside legal specialists, including Laurence H. Tribe, professor of constitutional law at Harvard Law School, sharply dismissed any notion that the court was leaving Romney or the legislature any option other than to accept gay marriage and implement its ruling.''
When all legal efforts failed to prevent or delay same-sex marriages before the court imposed deadline, the governor found a legal means to prevent out of state same-sex couples from marrying in Massachusetts, stating:
''Massachusetts should not become the Las Vegas of same-sex marriage. We do not intend to export our marriage confusion to the entire nation.''
His efforts succeeded and were upheld by the courts.
"Gay rights advocates also want the next governor to push for a repeal of a 1913 state law that Governor Mitt Romney used to block residents of states that prohibit gay marriage from marrying in Massachusetts. In March, the Supreme Judicial Court upheld the law as constitutional, a blow to gay rights advocates."
Governor Romney fought for a marriage amendment his whole term in office. Even in his last two months in office, he kept fighting the legislature to place "a marriage amendment on the 2008 state ballot." This would allow the state's constitution to be amended to prevent same-sex marriages. He went so far as to join with state citizens to sue the legislature since, "The constitution of Massachusetts gives citizens the right to petition -- and lawmakers are obligated to vote on that petition. They are refusing to do so."
(More than 170,000 people had signed the petition.)
Governor Romney stated in a speech at the capitol: "I was struck by the irony and the hypocrisy. Legislators so energized to protect the newly discovered gay right to marry had no compunction about trammeling the long established, constitutional right of the people to vote."
Also, one month after same-sex marriage became legal in Massachusetts, Governor Romney testified before the U.S. Congress of the importance of an amendment to protect traditional marriage.
"Romney will be the first speaker at the hearing, appearing for 8 to 10 minutes, Feddeman said. After Romney's remarks, the panel will hear testimony from Representative Marilyn Musgrave, the House sponsor of the Federal Marriage Amendment, and former congressman Bob Barr, author of the Defense of Marriage Act"
One month after that, U.S. Senator Inhofe testified in congress:
"Even Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney, in his testimony on June 22, 2004, before the Senate Judiciary Committee, stated:
"Marriage is not an evolving paradigm, as the court said, but it is a fundamental and universal social institution that bears a real and substantial relation to the public health, safety, morals, and general welfare of all the people of Massachusetts.
"We need an amendment that restores and protects our societal definition of marriage, [and] blocks judges from changing that definition ..... at this point, the only way to reestablish the status quo ..... is to preserve the definition of marriage in the federal Constitution before courts redefine it out of existence."
Mitt Romney did not order Justices of the Peace or Town Clerks to perform same sex marriages and he did not issue marriage licenses to same sex couples as has been erronously claimed in the 2012 election cycle.
For details, see an expanded open letter that was signed by many social conservatives fighting gay marriage in Massachusetts:
Contrast with Governor Romney — Two Republican Governors Respond to Gay Marriage
In May, 2008, over four years after The Massachusetts Supreme Court ruled 4-3 to legalize same-sex marriage, the California Supreme Court ruled 4-3 to do the same, although ''California already offers same-sex couples who register as domestic partners the same legal rights and responsibilities as married spouses, including the right to divorce and to sue for child support.''
'' "I respect the court's decision and as governor, I will uphold its ruling," said Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger in a statement. "Also, as I have said in the past, I will not support an amendment to the constitution that would overturn this (ruling)." ''
In spite of Schwarzenegger's opposition, Proposition 8, an initiative to amend the state constitution to restore the marriage law the court overturned was passed, with over 7 million voters voting for it. » More on California's Proposition 8
In October 2008, the Connecticut Supreme Court ruled 4-3 in a ''sharply divided'' decision to legalize same-sex marriage, even though that state already had a civil union law, becoming the third state to allow gay marriages.
''The Family Institute of Connecticut, a political action group that opposes gay marriage, called the ruling outrageous.
'' "Even the legislature, as liberal as ours, decided that marriage is between a man and a woman," said executive director Peter Wolfgang. "This is about our right to govern ourselves. It is bigger than gay marriage." ''
However, the Republican governor only gave lip service in sympathizing with voters, vowing to do nothing to attempt to reverse the decision:
''Gov. M. Jodi Rell said she disagreed with the ruling.
'' "The Supreme Court has spoken," she said. "I do not believe their voice reflects the majority of the people of Connecticut. However, I am also firmly convinced that attempts to reverse this decision — either legislatively or by amending the state Constitution — will not meet with success." ''
"Governor Mitt Romney and his wife, Ann, have donated nearly $2.9 million to more than 40 healthcare groups, schools, and other charitable organizations since 1999, ... a Globe review of Internal Revenue Service documents shows...
"He [Mitt Romney] gave $1,000 in 2003 to a small library fund in Gloucester, $10,000 last year to the AIDS Action Committee of Massachusetts, $2,500 to Boston's Ten Point Coalition, and $50,000 to Harvard Business School... In 2004, 14 of 23 groups that received money from the couple's foundation were based in the Bay State...
"Romney was born into a home that prized volunteerism and charity. His father, George W. Romney, an automobile executive and governor of Michigan who ran unsuccessfully for president in 1968, founded in 1974 the National Volunteer Center, one of the country's largest volunteer organizations...
"Regarding the donations to the AIDS Action Committee, Fehrnstrom said, ''The AIDS Action Committee is the largest AIDS service organization in Massachusetts, and the governor's donation is meant to support prevention and treatment of this disease.''
"In 2003, the Romneys gave $2,500 to the Best Friends Foundation, a Washington-based group that promotes sexual abstinence among teens. They also donated $2,500 that year to Community Servings, a Boston-based charity that delivers meals to homebound AIDS patients."
Governor Romney also continued a state panel that had been in operation over 10 years before he took office that was to work to prevent violence against and suicide of gay youth. He continued to leave it funded and operating undisturbed for over three years, until the panel strayed too much from its mission. At that point, after considering terminating the panel, he chose to limit its activities to the mission it was created for, of working against violence and suicide. But the liberal Massachusetts legislature was over 85% democrat, giving it a veto proof majority. When he tried to rein the panel in, they passed a bill to take away his ability to appoint members to the panel and control their funding and activities by creating a new commission out of his control. He vetoed the bill and they overrode it. In the end, he disbanded the panel he had authority over when the legislature created the new commission out of his reach.
The following articles document those events:
''Senate lawmakers move to take gay youth commission from Romney...
''Romney angered many gay rights activists and lawmakers when he flirted with the idea earlier this month of abolishing the 14-year-old commission, the first of its kind in the nation, after a press release announcing a youth gay pride march was issued without the administration's blessing.
''Instead of killing the commission Romney ordered it to refocus on its core mission of suicide prevention...
''The senate amendment would create a 27-member commission, none of whom would be directly appointed by the governor.''
''I was chief executive at Bain & Co. It’s an environment that fosters openness and fights discrimination. I believe it is a good place for gay and lesbian individuals to work...
''I’m sure exactly what it has for anti-discrimination policies and in all of my years at Bain & Co. I have never heard any person complain about any discrimination based on sexual orientation. I have a number of friends at Bain & Co. who are openly gay and we’ve had a number of tragedies with young men who have contracted AIDS. Some of whom have passed on, and the outpouring of concern and affection for them and for others in similar conditions have existed throughout the company and it has been part of my life’s experience.''
''In my administration, I didn't discriminate against someone on the basis of their being homosexual... as I've demonstrated through my own record, I have endeavored not to discriminate in hiring... one, in my administration, and second, in my appointment of judges.''
Governor Romney sanitized the judicial selection process to remove bias and favoratism. Then when he appointed judges to criminal courts he did so based on their stated philosophy and record of being tough on crime. He did not discriminate based on ethnicity, sex, party affiliation, sexual orientation or for any other reason. As a result, he appointed at least one, and according to news reports, probably at least a couple of gays to be judges in criminal courts. He also made it clear that if he were to appoint a judge to the state supreme court, or in courts where they would be ruling on social issues, his criteria in appointing such judges would include that they would not try to be activist judges or make rulings that were constitutionally and morally wrong.
In what may have been a coordinated effort, the day after Barack Obama announced he is for gay marriage, the liberal Washington Post published an 11 page hit-piece that started on their front page, claiming when Romney was a kid he picked on another kid who was gay. The piece has been discredited.
Several gays involved in politics, including a nationally prominent gay, endorsed or favored Mitt Romney for president, citing several reasons including his economic prowess and national defense policies.
''A letter he wrote to a pro-gay organization [during his 1994 senate race] also surfaced, in which Romney said he supported "full equality for America's gay and lesbian citizens." ...
''In a recent interview in his corner office at his campaign headquarters, Romney sticks by his position condemning discrimination against gays and lesbians.
'' "I can tell you this, which is I believe gay individuals should enjoy tolerance and respect," Romney says. "They should have equal opportunities in housing and employment. We shouldn't discriminate against people based upon their sexual preference or orientation."
''Romney's position is the same one staked out by President Bush.
'' "At the same time, I believe that marriage should be reserved for a relationship between one man and one woman. For me, that's not a matter of discrimination," Romney adds.
''He also supports Bush's effort to ban gay marriage by an amendment to the U.S. Constitution''.
"NJ: In 1994, during the Kennedy debate, you presented yourself as an advocate for gay rights. Would you say that you are advocate for gay rights now?
"I am an advocate for treating all people with respect and dignity, and for the absence of discrimination...
"I do not support creating a special law or a special status. I've learned through my experience over the last decade that when you single out a particular population group for special status, it opens the door to a whole series of lawsuits, many of them frivolous and very burdensome to our employment community, and so I do not favor a specific law of that nature. What I do favor is people doing what I did, or what I tried to do, and not discriminate against people who are gay."
"I'm not in favor of discrimination of any kind including people who have a different sexual preference than myself," Romney said during the brief interview. "At the same time I'm very committed to traditional marriage between one man and one woman and believe that marriage should be preserved in that way."
"With regard to gay rights, I firmly believe that Americans should not discriminate against people because they are gay. At the same time, I believe that marriage should be a relationship between a man and a woman, and I have always been convinced of that. I have never supported same-sex marriage, and I'm absolutely convinced that, in order to raise the best possible next generation, the ideal setting for doing so is where there's a mom and a dad involved."
“The issue is “going to be a big contrast in the campaign,” since his opponent, Mitt Romney, is in favor of a constitutional amendment that would ban gay “marriage.” ...
“The president was elusive about his own stance on federal involvement in the issue, however, dodging a direct question from co-host Barbara Walters on whether he would “fight for a federal bill” that would legally enshrine gay “marriage.”
“In response, Obama merely noted his opposition to the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) and claimed that the issue had “historically been determined at the state level.” He also accused Romney of “federalizing the whole issue” by favoring DOMA.”
KDVR-TV (CBS 4 in Denver) interview by Shaun Boyd - May 9, 2012
“ "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 don't favor civil unions if they are identical to marriage other than by name," Romney said in an interview with KDVR-TV in Denver.
“ "My view is that domestic partnership benefits, hospital visitation rights and the like are appropriate but the others are not," the presumptive GOP presidential nominee said.”
Hardball with Chris Matthews back - August of 2006
ENDORSEMENTS & ASSESSMENTS:
National Organization for Marriage Endorses Romney for President
“We are proud to endorse Mitt Romney for President,” said Brian Brown, NOM’s president. “Governor Romney was an early signer of NOM’s presidential pledge which represents his commitment to the nation to take specific actions as president to preserve and protect marriage as the union of one man and one woman.” ...
“Now is the time for all people who recognize the importance of marriage to come together to support a true champion, Mitt Romney, against an incumbent who has done virtually everything in his power to undermine the institution of marriage,” Brown said. “President Obama has declared our nation’s marriage laws to be unconstitutional and not only has refused to defend them, his administration is actively working to repeal them in the courts. He’s come out against state constitutional amendments defining marriage as the union of one man and one woman. And he has appointed leaders of the same-sex ‘marriage’ movement as national co-chairs of his reelection campaign. Incredibly, Obama still apparently claims to personally support traditional marriage. With friends like President Obama, the institution of marriage doesn’t need enemies.”
Maggie Gallagher, President of the Culture War Victory Fund
‘For social conservatives, especially Christian conservatives, the race between President Obama and Governor Mitt Romney is not a close call,” she said in a statement. “A pro-life, pro-marriage, pro-religious liberty president is priority number one. It’s clear it’s going to be a tough fight and a close election, and we need every man and woman on board to win.’
"We believe that Romney is a natural ally of social conservatives. He speaks often about the toll of fatherlessness in this country. He may not have thought deeply about the political dimensions of social issues until, as governor, he was confronted with the cutting edge of social liberalism. No other Republican governor had to deal with both human cloning and court-imposed same-sex marriage. He was on the right side of both issues, . . ."
''One clue that Romney is our strongest candidate is the fact that Democrats keep viciously attacking him while expressing their deep respect for Mike Huckabee and John McCain...
''Never take advice from your political enemies. Turn on any cable news show right now, and you will see Democratic pundits attacking Romney, calling him a "flip-flopper," and heaping praise on McCain and Huckleberry -- almost as if they were reading some sort of "talking points." Doesn't that raise the tiniest suspicions in any of you? ...
''The candidate Republicans should be clamoring for is the one liberals are feverishly denouncing. That is Mitt Romney by a landslide...
''Liberals claim to be enraged at Romney for being a "flip-flopper." I've looked and looked, and the only issue I can find that Romney has "flipped" on is abortion. When running for office in Massachusetts -- or, for short, "the Soviet Union" -- Romney said that Massachusetts was a pro-choice state and that he would not seek to change laws on abortion.''
Ann Coulter is a columnist, speaker, and six time New York Times best-selling author.
"Gov. Romney is for traditional marriage and he has proven it:" (four points are then listed including that he pushed for an amendment to overturn same-sex marriages and ordered enforcement of a law to prevent out-of-state gay couples from marrying in Massachusetts.)
Conclusion by a large, well respected national magazine:
''Despite this fiscal achievement, a pair of social issues has done far more to define Romney's governorship: gay marriage and embryonic-stem-cell research. On either matter, a good case can be made that Romney has fought harder for social conservatives than any other governor in America, and it is difficult to imagine his doing so in a more daunting political environment. "On marriage and cloning, he has provided aggressive leadership as a positive, pro-family governor," says Kris Mineau of the Massachusetts Family Institute. "On a scale of one to ten, I'd rank him an eight, and I'm a tough grader."
''Gay marriage featured prominently in Romney's 2002 election because everybody knew the Massachusetts supreme court was poised to rule on the matter. From the start, Romney made it clear that he believes marriage should exist only between a man and a woman. When the court's decision came down, however, it said that the state constitution mandates gay marriages. So Romney began plotting a counterstrategy, seeking advice from former attorney general Edwin Meese as well as constitutional scholar Matthew Spalding of the Heritage Foundation. They zeroed in on an obscure law from 1913 that has the effect of voiding gay marriages conferred upon non-Massachusetts residents, and so Romney has used his administrative powers to prevent Boston from becoming a same-sex version of Las Vegas. Although this policy is now under legal assault, Romney has so far saved 49 other states from the judicial controversy afflicting his own.
''In addition, he has tried to amend the state constitution, which is the only way to undo the court's ruling as opposed to merely limiting it. Under Massachusetts law, this is a complicated, multi-step process in which the governor plays no formal role. Romney, however, has used his bully pulpit to call for a total ban on gay marriage. The legislature complied, but only on an amendment that also permitted civil unions. Romney wasn't happy about this. He also had no alternative. "If I have to choose between gay marriages and civil unions," he says, "I'll choose civil unions every time." For this amendment to be fully adopted, the legislature must approve it one more time (which it may in fact refuse to do). If it clears this hurdle, it then will go before voters as a referendum. (In the meantime, Romney is also pushing for a federal constitutional amendment to protect marriage.)
Whatever the outcome, there's no denying that Romney has pulled every lever within his reach to defend traditional marriage. "In the worst possible circumstances, he confronted one of the toughest issues of our politics with considerable moral seriousness and political skill," says Spalding. "That's the mark of a conservative statesman." ''