Wednesday, January 02, 2008

Romney's FlipFlop on Civil Unions

Here's a Romney flip-flop we need to revisit now: His position on "civil unions."

Romney is busy in New Hampshire bad-mouthing the newly legal civil unions there. (The NH Legislature actually voted for them, unlike the mythical "homosexual marriages" here.)

But while Governor of Massachusetts, Mitt Romney worked for civil unions.

Check the news from late 2003 (just after the Goodridge marriage ruling) and early 2004 (during the Legislature's phony attempt to come up with a marriage amendment to send to the voters). Romney wanted to be able to say later that he fought for real marriage, and claimed that only a constitutional amendment could solve the problem. He joined Legislative leaders pushing an unrealistic, doomed compromise: the absurd Travaglini-Lees amendment (proposed in early 2004), which would have banned homosexual "marriage" while writing civil unions into the Mass. constitution!

Surely, Romney knew this proposal was doomed to failure. But it allowed him to take everyone's eyes off the real constitutional issues while he illegally implemented homosexual "marriage" behind the scenes. So in March 2004 (according to the Boston Globe), he twisted the arms of hesitant Republican legislators, and convinced them to vote for the phony amendment (which would have established civil unions)!

If that's not supporting civil unions, what is?

  • AP (11-20-03), "Massachusetts governor urges gay civil unions, not marriage" -- ... Romney said Wednesday he believes the state could adopt civil unions similar to those allowed in Vermont -- then continue working toward a constitutional amendment to ban same-sex marriages.... "I believe their [the Court's] decision indicates that a provision which provides that benefits, obligations, rights and responsibilities which are consistent with marriage but perhaps could be called by a different name would be in conformity with their decision," Romney said. "Under that opinion, I believe a civil-union type provision would be sufficient."
  • Boston Globe (3-30-04), "In crucial shift, governor sways 15 in GOP to support measure" Through all the twists and shifts during the gay-marriage debate this year, there was one constant: 22 Republicans in the House of Representatives opposed every measure that would grant gay couples civil unions in the constitution. That all changed yesterday, however, when 15 of that 22-member bloc broke away at the urging of Governor Mitt Romney and voted in favor of a proposed amendment that would ban gay marriage but create Vermont-style civil unions. Those 15 members provided the margin of victory, observers from both camps said yesterday after the measure passed by just five votes.... it was clear that the Republican governor had a major effect on the fracturing of the 22-member bloc....

  • Letter from Mitt Romney in April 2004, praising the Travaglini-Lees compromise amendment (which would have written civil unions into the Mass. constitution), reported on MassResistance blog (12-07).

  • Boston Globe (2-25-05), "Romney's stance on civil unions draws fire; Activists accuse governor of 'flip-flopping' on issue" -- ... Yesterday the Log Cabin Republicans sharply rebuked the Massachusetts governor, saying his remarks indicate he is backsliding on his 2002 campaign commitment to support some benefits for gay couples. He had also urged GOP lawmakers to vote for a proposed constitutional amendment last spring that would ban same-sex marriage but allow gay couples to enter into civil unions.... A review of Romney's remarks shows that at an October 2002 campaign debate, he said: "Call me old fashioned, but I don't support gay marriage nor do I support civil union." Then, after the SJC decision legalizing same-sex marriage, he told WCVB on Dec. 17, 2003, that if he had to choose, he would favor civil unions over full-fledged gay marriage. However, he added: "But that is not my preference overall. My preference overall would be neither civil union or marriage." Last March, Romney's staff told House Republicans he supported the proposed constitutional amendment that would ban same-sex marriage but allow civil unions....

  • Chris Matthews, MSNBC "Hardball" (8-26-05): "Romney plays 'Hardball' on gay marriage; Mass. governor discusses civil unions..." [a must-read interview, as Romney is incoherent] -- ... MATTHEWS: Help me understand Massachusetts politics here.... Why doesn't the state of Massachusetts, through its elected officials, simply overrule the Supreme Court up there and say, there's not going to be any gay marriage; I don't care what some judge says about the Constitution written 200 years ago? Why don't they just do that?
    ROMNEY: Well, well, as you know, it's not that easy. When a court overreaches its bounds and decides to legislate from the bench, it's pretty hard to overturn that. In our case, we have to pass a constitutional amendment. And my legislature is in, some respects, liberal. It has a conservative wing as well. But the liberal wing is fighting very hard for same-sex marriage or its legal equivalent, civil union. And so, as this has gone before the legislature in the past, they've said that the people ought to decide. I agree with them. Let's let the people decide. So, we will have a constitutional convention this year. Hopefully, the decision of our legislature will be to let the people decide. And, specifically, I hope that people will be able to decide that neither civil union, nor same-sex marriage is legal in Massachusetts.... Of course, if we find ourselves in a setting where the only choice is between civil union and marriage, I will prefer civil union. But I would prefer neither.
    [This is right after he says same-sex marriage and civil unions are legally equivalent!]

  • New York Sun, 4-27-07 --Mr. Giuliani's position on the New Hampshire law [to legalize civil unions] puts him in the company of the former governor of Massachusetts, Mitt Romney, the only other major presidential candidate from either party who opposes the New Hampshire law. "Governor Romney opposes the New Hampshire bill," Mr. Romney's campaign said yesterday. "He is a champion of traditional marriage. As governor of Massachusetts, he has a clear record opposing same sex marriage and civil unions."