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Old Remarks On Gay Marriage Bite Romney


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Old Remarks On Gay Marriage Bite Romney

by 365Gay.com Newscenter Staff

Posted: December 8, 2006 3:00 pm ET

(Boston, Massachusetts) As Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney continues to ratchet up his attacks on same-sex marriage a 1994 interview he gave to a Boston gay publication has surfaced.

"People of integrity don't force their beliefs on others, they make sure that others can live by different beliefs they may have," Romney told Bay Windows a dozen years ago when the paper interviewed him on LGBT civil rights.

Bay Windows republished the interview this week, after lawyers for Romney went to the state's highest court seeking an order to place on the 2008 ballot a proposed amendment banning same-sex marriage. (story)

Romney has the been the leading opponent of same-sex marriage in Massachusetts as he seeks support for an expected GOP presidential bid in 2006. In speeches throughout the country he has called for an amendment to the US Constitution to block gay marriages.

But back in 1994, when he was running against Ted Kennedy for the Senate, Romney's position was far different.

He told Bay Windows that he opposed "extremists" who were trying to impose their positions on the Republican Party and that he believed marriage was a state issue.

He tied his willingness to advocate for the rights of gay people, Bay Windows reports, to the Mormon concept of “free agency”.

When I speak of free agency, I don’t just mean that each person can do what they want to do, I mean that our society should allow people to make their own choices and live by their own beliefs,” he told the paper.

In the 1994 interview he said that supported then President Bill Clinton’s “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy but said that “I believe that there will be change over time as the military establishment and the rank and file become more comfortable with the realities of sexual orientation in the military.”

Romney went on to say “I will support progress being made in that area as time progresses and the military and society becomes more accepting.”

Today he is a supporter of DADT.

Last year, as he was beginning to seek support for a presidential bid he delivered a speech to a GOP audience in South Carolina that not only opposed gay marriage but also civil unions "from day one.'' (story)

"Today, same-sex couples are marrying under the law in Massachusetts,'' Romney told the crowd. "Some are actually having children born to them,'' he continued.

"It's not right on paper. It's not right in fact. Every child has the right to have a mother and a father.''

He has made similar speeches since then in nearly a dozen states.

The republication of the interview will undoubtedly bring new scrutiny from the far right of the Republican Party - a base he is trying hard to win.

"The question is, how trustworthy is [Romney] in the long term, especially if you have other candidates who have been stalwarts on the issue all along?" New Hampshire state representative Daniel Itse told the Boston Globe.

Bay Windows said it has had an inquiry from NBC's "Meet the Press" about the interview.

©365Gay.com 2006


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