Friday, October 26, 2012

A vote for Romney is a vote for anti-gay bigotry

By Michael J.W. Stickings

It isn't just the right-wing expression of opposition to marriage equality, which of course is de rigueur in the Republican Party, it's what he did, for example, when he was governor of Massachusetts:

It seemed like a minor adjustment. To comply with the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court ruling that legalized gay marriage in 2003, the state Registry of Vital Records and Statistics said it needed to revise its birth certificate forms for babies born to same-sex couples. The box for "father" would be relabeled "father or second parent," reflecting the new law.

But to then-Governor Mitt Romney, who opposed child-rearing by gay couples, the proposal symbolized unacceptable changes in traditional family structures.

He rejected the Registry of Vital Records plan and insisted that his top legal staff individually review the circumstances of every birth to same-sex parents. Only after winning approval from Romney's lawyers could hospital officials and town clerks across the state be permitted to cross out by hand the word "father" on individual birth certificates, and then write in "second parent," in ink.

Divisions between the governor's office and state bureaucrats over the language on the forms and details about the extraordinary effort by the Republican governor to prevent routine recording of births to gay parents are contained in state records obtained by the Globe this month. 

This may not seem like much, holding up the issuing of birth certificates, but this was a case of "Moderate Mitt" Romney going to great lengths, delving into a seemingly peripheral policy area, to discriminate, even in this one area, against same-sex couples:

The practice of requiring high-level legal review continued for the rest of Romney's term, despite a warning from a Department of Public Health lawyer who said such a system placed the children of same-sex parents at an unfair disadvantage.

As John Aravosis writes, Romney "threw as many administrative obstacles in their way as possible, in an effort to show his disproval for parenting that he didn’t morally agree with... Mitt Romney made gay parents go to a high level government official, with each and every child, in order to simply get a legal birth certificate."

Romney contines to flip and flop all over the place on gay rights, but generally he has gone from anti-gay moderate to anti-gay extremist as his political aspirations shifted from Boston to Washington.

But of course he's also inconsistent on the "activist" role of government (i.e., government actually doing something as opposed to sitting back and letting social Darwinism rule the roost), as we have seen throughout this campaign and indeed throughout his political career. Usually he's against it, at least when it means regulating the 1%, individual and corporate alike. But when it comes to something he doesn't like, like gay rights (in this case going so far as to target children, who of course need birth certificates without delay), he's all for it, even using his own elected office to enforce bigotry.

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