Mitt Romney, father of gay marriage?

A teaspoonful of tolerance for gay parents nets the candidate a heaping helping of flak from Christian right-wingers.

By Carol Lloyd
June 8, 2007 5:00AM (UTC)
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Did you hear the latest? Presidential candidate Mitt Romney has donned a T-shirt depicting two women making out, mailed a big donation to the Human Rights Campaign and shlepped back to Massachusetts to proclaim his support for all those gay folks who want to sanctify their love with a government seal.

Well, OK, he didn't actually do all that. Actually, all he said was that he's "fine" with gay parenting. Or, wait -- that's a bit of stretch, too. As Salon's War Room noted Wednesday, Romney said "fine" at a campaign stop, in response to a lesbian mother of two who suggested that Romney's traditional marriage spiel invalidated her family. Here's the oh-so-tolerant context in which he said it: "Wonderful, I'm delighted that you have a family and you're happy with your family. That's the American way ... People can live their lives as they choose and children can be a great source of joy, as you know. And I welcome that. There are other ways to raise kids that's fine: single moms, grandparents raising kids, gay couples raising kids. That's the American way, to have people have their freedom of choice."


Romney then reiterated his wish to "bring women and men together," and said that "the ideal setting for society at large is when there is a male and female associated with the development and nurturing of a child." But for some listeners, the damage was done -- putting the word "fine" within a 10-foot rhetorical pole of "gay couples raising kids" had already raised Christian ire. "Should Gay Couples Raise Children? Mitt Romney Says 'That's Fine,'" taunted Christian Broadcasting Network. And though CBN failed to accuse Romney of conceiving Massachusetts' same-sex marriage legislation, MassResistance did just that. "Romney is the founding father of homosexual 'marriage,'" declares the group's Web site. Say what?

Should we take this to mean Romney is a closet liberal? Hardly. But it does seem to indicate that the Christian right has become so sanctimonious as to tear apart even the most right-wing Republican candidates. To which I say, let the feeding frenzy begin.

Carol Lloyd

Carol Lloyd is currently at work on a book about the gentrification wars in San Francisco's Mission District.

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