Wintery Knight

…integrating Christian faith and knowledge in the public square

Rick Santorum exposes Mitt Romney’s record on gay rights in Iowa GOP primary debate

I wanted to wait until till Monday to post this make sure everyone saw this.

Excerpt:

After the debate, Romney issued a challenge that Santorum wouldn’t be able to find any respected legal authorities that would agree with his characterization of Romney’s culpability.

Romney, as he has been on so many other things over the years, is wrong.

When I contacted Mat Staver, Founder and Chairman of Liberty Counsel, for his response to the exchange, he sent me the following statement:

Rick Santorum’s statement during the debate about Mitt Romney’s actions regarding same-sex marriage are correct. I litigated in Massachusetts by filing a suit in federal court to prevent the implementation of same-sex marriage. Due to federalism issues with the federal courts being asked to block a state court action, the federal courts were constrained not to get involved.

Having spent considerable time reviewing the Massachusetts Constitution, drafted by John Adams, I can say that the Massachusetts Constitution is unique with respect to marriage and domestic relations by vesting the authority over marriage to the Legislature. The provision is explicitly set forth in the Massachusetts Constitution. The Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court ruled that the Legislature should act within a certain time to implement same-sex marriage, but the Legislature refused to act. Yet, Gov. Romney on his own went ahead of the Legislature and forced the implementation of same-sex marriage. Not only was he not required to implement same-sex marriage, the Massachusetts Constitution gave him no authority to do so. Gov. Romney should not have acted until the Legislature acted as that is the body vested by the Massachusetts Constitution with authority over marriage.

Sen. Rick Santorum was right and Gov. Mitt Romney was wrong.”

And more:

Likewise, Dr. Herb Titus was the founding dean of the School of Public Policy at Regent University, and later served as the founding dean of Regent Law School. Before that he studied under Dr. Francis Schaeffer, and graduated from Harvard Law School. Titus has worked with the U.S. Justice Department, and is admitted to practice before the U.S. Supreme Court. His book God, Man, and Law is a must-read for anyone interested in preserving the rule of law for the next generation.

I contacted Dr. Titus on Friday morning for his response to the Santorum-Romney exchange. He replied back with the following:

…I am a graduate of the Harvard Law School. I am an active member of the Virginia bar and the bar of a number of federal courts, including the United States Supreme Court. As a professor of constitutional law for nearly 30 years in four different ABA-approved law schools, and as a practicing lawyer, I have written a number of scholarly articles and legal briefs on a variety of constitutional subjects; including the nature of legislative, executive and judicial powers and the constitutional separation of those powers. 

I am generally familiar with the Massachusetts Constitution, and especially familiar with that constitution’s provision dictating that no department shall exercise the powers that belong to either of the other two departments “to the end it may be a government of laws and not of men.”

As Governor, Mr. Romney has claimed that he had no choice but to obey the Supreme Judicial Court’s opinion.  This claim is false for several reasons….

The quote continues listing SIX REASONS why Romney did not have to issue the marriage licenses to gay couples. But he did it anyway.

Here’s a 2007 New York Times article to show that explains Romney’s real record.

Excerpt:

Mitt Romney seemed comfortable as a group of gay Republicans quizzed him over breakfast one morning in 2002. Running for governor of Massachusetts, he was at a gay bar in Boston to court members of Log Cabin Republicans.

Mr. Romney explained to the group that his perspective on gay rights had been largely shaped by his experience in the private sector, where, he said, discrimination was frowned upon. When the discussion turned to a court case on same-sex marriage that was then wending its way through the state’s judicial system, he said he believed that marriage should be limited to the union of a man and a woman. But, according to several people present, he promised to obey the courts’ ultimate ruling and not champion a fight on either side of the issue.

Got that? Mitt Romney isn’t going to fight anyone to protect traditional marriage.

More:

Jonathan Spampinato, a Republican activist who is openly gay and worked as Mr. Romney’s deputy political director during the run for governor, says he always felt that Mr. Romney was comfortable with gays. When it came to gay rights beyond the issue of marriage, Mr. Spampinato recalls, Mr. Romney asserted during that campaign that there was only the smallest difference between himself, a supporter of domestic partnership rights like survivorship and hospital visitation, and his Democratic opponent, Shannon O’Brien, who backed civil unions.

“He explained his position to Log Cabin club members early on,” Mr. Spampinato remembered, “by saying, ‘Regardless of what you call it, if you look at the benefits I support and the benefits Shannon supports, there’s probably a hair of difference.’ ”

[...]Recollections by gay Republicans whom Mr. Romney courted and worked with during his campaign for governor, and in his unsuccessful run for the Senate in 1994, produce a portrait of a man they genuinely saw as their partner in their fight for broader acceptance.

After the breakfast meeting in 2002, where the Log Cabin board unanimously decided to endorse him, he said in an interview with Bay Windows, a gay newspaper, that he would use his bully pulpit as governor to lobby legislators for domestic partnership benefits.

“Those kinds of things I think I can generate a great deal of public support for,” he said, “and therefore create pressure for legislators that otherwise might not think in those terms.”

And, in the aftermath of the Massachusetts court decision, Mr. Romney, though aligning himself with the supporters of a constitutional amendment, did order town clerks to begin issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples. Some members of Log Cabin Republicans say that in doing so, he ultimately fulfilled his promise to them despite his own moral objections.

Would Romney support legislation like ENDA, which would force Christian churches and ministries to hire gays?

“He couldn’t have been more kind and interested in understanding gay rights,” said Rich Tafel, who was executive director of Log Cabin’s national organization at the time. “He struck me as a business person who just wanted to understand this issue, and he wanted to communicate that he wasn’t antigay at all.”

Leaders of the group worked with Mr. Romney’s Senate campaign to draft a letter, which he eventually released, about his commitment to gay rights. He declared that he would go beyond Mr. Kennedy’s considerable record on the issue. He pledged his support for federal legislation that barred discrimination against gay men and lesbians in employment, and praised President Bill Clinton’s “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy for the military as a first step toward “gays and lesbians being able to serve openly and honestly.”

Mitt Romney’s record shows strong support for abortion and gay rights. Whatever he says now when he is running for President doesn’t count – he’s been pro-abortion and pro-gay rights since 1994. Nothing he does while on the campaign trail should cause us to doubt his record.

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One Response

  1. Marshall Art says:

    The sad part is that Romney continues to remain at the top of the list as far as likely primary winners. Those that seem to be truly strong social conservatives, like Bachmann or Santorum, do not seem to have much of a prayer.

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