16 December 2006


Last weekend we wrote about the controversy tracking Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney over the seeming discrepency about his previous support for gay rights and his current stance on gay issues - including his opposition to gay marriage.

In a wide-ranging interview with the National Review, Romney addressed the gay-rights issue, saying there has been no change in his position:

"I have made clear since 2003, when the supreme court of Massachusetts redefined marriage by fiat, that my unwavering advocacy for traditional marriage stands side by side with a tolerance and respect for all Americans. Like the vast majority of Americans, I've opposed same-sex marriage, but I've also opposed unjust discrimination against anyone, for racial or religious reasons, or for sexual preference. Americans are a tolerant, generous, and kind people. We all oppose bigotry and disparagement. But 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. -- Mitt Romney in the National Review

Romney admits in the National Review interview that he has had a change of heart over the years about supporting a proposed federal civil-rights legislation for gays, the Employment Non-Discrimination Act.

"I don't see the need for new or special legislation. My experience over the past several years as governor has convinced me that ENDA would be an overly broad law that would open a litigation floodgate and unfairly penalize employers at the hands of activist judges." --Mitt Romney in the National Review

In the National Review interview, Romney admits his position on abortion has changed in the past decade or so. While running for Senate against Ted Kenney in 1994, Romney said he believed abortion should be safe and legal. He told the National Review his position has shifted since then:

"The state of Massachusetts is a pro-choice state and when I campaigned for governor I said that I would not change the law on abortion. But I do believe that the one-size-fits-all, abortion-on-demand-for-all-nine-months decision in Roe v. Wade does not serve the country well and is another example of judges making the law instead of interpreting the Constitution. What I would like to see is the Court return the issue to the people to decide. The Republican party is and should remain the pro-life party and work to change hearts and minds and create a culture of life where every child is welcomed." -- Mitt Romney in the National Review

Read the entire National Review interview here.


With the deafeat of George Allen in his Senate re-election bid, the "social conservative" mantle in the '08 GOP race is up for grabs. Romney is doing his best to convince the hard right that he fills that bill, but early indications are he has a ways to go.

The efforts of one man in particular to discredit Romney's claims to the social conservative label are chronicled in the newest issue of The National Republic. The magazine describes a somewhat dubious, and what seems a bit shameless, depiction of Romney by Brian Camenker, the head of MassResistance, a so-called "family values" organization in Massachusetts.

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