Gay rights supporters have mixed feelings about the announcement President Obama made today, clarifying his “evolved” stance on same-sex marriage. It’s important politically, I suppose, that the President says he believes gay couples deserve the right to marry, but it’s less than a revolutionary idea coming from a liberal democrat and the first black commander-in-chief. Nonetheless, in the wake of the North Carolina vote that banned same-sex marriage in the state last night, Obama’s words are welcome, especially if you compare his stance to that of his Republican opponent, Mitt Romney. Romney is not only against gay marriage, but he’s also against civil unions for same-sex couples. He has also said on multiple occasions that he supports the idea of an amendment to the US Constitution defining marriage as between one man and one woman. That leaves Romney to the right of George W. Bush.
In January of this year, Romney told a crowd in South Carolina, “My view is that we should defend the Defense Of Marriage Act and that we should have a Constitutional amendment that defines marriage as a relationship between a man and a woman.” In a primary debate this past June, Romney said he believed there should be a Constitutional amendment to ban same-sex marriage entirely, with states’ rights out of the question. And interestingly enough, this is one issue Romney has not flip-flopped on; he’s been championing a federal amendment banning gay marriage for years.
In 2008, Romney’s PAC made a $10,000 donation to the National Organization for Marriage, “at a time when the anti-gay rights organization was seeking repeal of a California law legalizing marriage equality,” according to The Huffington Post. In 2004, while Romney was the governor of Massachusetts – the first state to legalize gay marriage – “he testified before the U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee, urging its members to protect the definition of marriage,” Wikipedia reports, citing his testimony. “Marriage is not an evolving paradigm,” said Romney, “but is a fundamental and universal social institution that bears a real and substantial relation to the public health, safety, morals, and general welfare of all of the people of Massachusetts.”
It’s kind of weird that a man who is a proud member of a faith that once promoted plural marriage is all about restricting marriage rights, but science has also proven that insanely homophobic people might actually be gay, so… yeah, I guess in comparison to Romney’s backwards views, Obama looks pretty progressive after all.