The Contradictory Mitt Romney speaks out again, reports Jason Shaw
At first the Republican presidential hopeful and former Mormon preacher seemed to be speaking out in favour of Lesbian and Gay equality in a speech at the National Association for the Advancement of Coloured People’s annual convention on Wednesday. In a positive move he promised the crowd in Houston he would stand for ‘every race, creed and sexual orientation.’ Yet a little later in the same speech he made it abundantly clear he was not softening his homophobic stance against marriage equality when he said: ‘As president, I will promote strong families and defend traditional marriage.’
The speech received a mixed reception from some GLBT groups, “It is unfortunate that he countered his outreach to gay and lesbian Americans with a gratuitous attack on the freedom to marry.“ R. Clarke Cooper, executive director of group Log Cabin Republicans said in a statement. “If Governor Romney truly desires to represent all Americans, Log Cabin Republicans encourages him to avoid divisive social issues and focus on jobs and the economy.”
Sharon Lettman-Hicks, executive director of the National Black Justice Coalition told journalists “Thousands of LGBT couples are raising children and have marriages rooted in love and lifelong commitment — you don’t get more traditional than that. The U.S. Census shows that these couples are also more likely to be people of colour, especially African American. If Romney’s pledge is to represent Americans of ‘every race, creed and sexual orientation,’ that includes loving and committed LGBT couples and the families they are providing for and protecting.”
Contradictions and mixed messages on controversial and key issues seem to be nothing new for Romney, back in 2002 Romney spoke out in favour of equality “All citizens deserve equal rights regardless of their sexual orientation”. In 1994 he sent a letter to the Log Cabin Republican group that he would be a strong advocate for gay rights, stating “We must make equality for gays and lesbians a mainstream concern.” In his 2008 presidential campaign he reiterated his opposition to same sex marriage and same sex civil unions, “I have taken every action that I could conceive of within the bounds of law to stop same sex marriage” whilst adding “But, I do not want to discriminate against gay people in employment or housing.”
Don’t Ask Don’t Tell is another issue where Romney fluctuates, he supported the bill when Clinton introduced it, yet he has spoken of the desire to repeal it’s abolishing by Obama, after military action in Afghanistan comes to an end, as early as 2014.
In 1994 he was a pro-choice politician believing that abortion was a deeply personal issue and the choice should ultimately be the mothers. However, during the 2008 campaign his view was that abortion should be illegal, except in cases of rape and incest. He has so far refused to sign a pro-life statement during the current presidential run. He believes that individual states should have the right to ban contraception and would overturn the Roe v Wade.