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More Romney Gay Doublespeak Surfaces


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More Romney Gay Doublespeak Surfaces

by The Associated Press

Posted: December 10, 2006 4:00 pm ET

(Boston, Massachusetts) Gov. Mitt Romney's beliefs on gay issues are under scrutiny after the re-emergence of a letter he wrote during his 1994 run for U.S. Senate in which he promised a gay Republicans group he would be a stronger advocate for gays than Sen. Edward Kennedy.

Romney's views in the letter contrast with recent statements by the Massachusetts governor, who has emphasized his opposition to gay marriage as he positions himself as a committed conservative in preparation for an expected 2008 run for the Republican presidential nomination.

The 1994 letter was written to the Log Cabin Club of Massachusetts, a gay Republican group, when Romney was courting gay voters during his unsuccessful campaign against Kennedy.

Citing Kennedy's record of advocacy for gays and lesbians, Romney wrote, ''For some voters, it might be enough to simply match my opponent's record in this area. But I believe we can and must do better. If we are to achieve the goals we share, we must make equality for gays and lesbians a mainstream concern.''

A gay-oriented Massachusetts newspaper, Bay Windows, has also released a transcript of a 1994 interview with Romney during the Senate race in which he pledged strong advocacy for the gay community. (story)

During the same interview, Romney said he opposed then-U.S. Sen. Jesse Helms' legislative amendment to ban federal funding for public schools that support homosexuality as a lifestyle alternative.

''I don't think the federal government has any business dictating to local school boards what their curriculum or practices should be,'' Romney said, according to the transcript. ''I think that's a dangerous precedent in general. I would have opposed that.''

In the Log Cabin Club letter, Romney also said he supported President Clinton's ''don't ask, don't tell'' policy regarding gays serving in the armed forces, describing it as ''the first in a number of steps that will ultimately lead to gays and lesbians being able to serve openly and honestly in our nation's military.''

Tony Perkins, president of the conservative Family Research Council, said Romney's comments were ''quite disturbing.''

''This is going to create a lot of problems for Governor Romney,'' he told The New York Times in yesterday's editions. ''He is going to have a hard time overcoming this.''

Noted conservative Paul Weyrich told The Times, ''Unless he comes out with an abject repudiation of this, I think it makes him out to be a hypocrite.''

Romney was wrapping up a weeklong trip to Asia yesterday and could not be reached for comment.

In an e-mailed statement, Romney spokesman Eric Fehrnstrom said as governor, Romney has never advocated changing the military's policy toward gays and has consistently supported traditional values.

Romney recently became a plaintiff in a lawsuit to force the state Legislature to vote on a constitutional amendment that would reverse the state's landmark 2003 court ruling legalizing gay marriage. State lawmakers have refused to vote on the amendment, which would kill it.

Arline Isaacson, co-chair of the Massachusetts Gay and Lesbian Political Caucus, cautioned gay and lesbians against believing Romney's overtures in 1994, and said conservatives shouldn't trust him, either.

©365Gay.com 2006


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