Mitt Romney Never Flip-Flopped on Marriage

Mitt Romney Never Flip-Flopped on Marriage

By Maggie Gallagher - December 2, 2011

This week, President Obama went negative, launching an ad a full year before the election attacking Mitt Romney's character for flip-flopping.

Clever, Mr. President. Too clever by half.

I'm not going to defend Romney from the charge that he has changed his mind -- on abortion he clearly has.

But I do want to take up the one issue I know the most about: same-sex marriage.

Let's compare Romney's and Obama's records of constancy on this one issue, the hot button of all button issues in American politics today.

I'm doing this, in part, because some social conservatives in Iowa appear to have gotten the idea that Mitt Romney is somehow responsible for gay marriage in Massachusetts.

I don't mind anyone criticizing Romney for the things he has done. But this particular attack is grotesquely unfair. I know. I was there.

In the summer of 2003, when I learned the Massachusetts courts were likely to make gay marriage a reality, I quit my job and started up a think tank to work full time on the marriage issue. I traveled to Massachusetts multiple times to confer with local leaders, testify before the legislature, address grassroots gatherings, meet with policymakers.

Mitt Romney didn't just oppose court-ordered same-sex marriage with words, he fought hard, including behind the scenes.

When the people of Massachusetts mobilized the most massive signature-gathering operation in the state's history in support of a marriage amendment defining marriage as one man and one woman, Romney supported the effort.

Under that state's constitution, 25 percent of the legislators must vote twice to approve a proposed amendment before it goes to a vote of the people.

The fact is, that against incredible shenanigans by many pro-gay marriage Democrats, while Romney was governor, the marriage amendment made progress. On Jan. 2, 2007, a few days before Romney left office, more than 25 percent of legislators DID approve the marriage amendment.

After he left office, the Democrats succeeded through a massive arm-twisting campaign to kill off the marriage amendment in the second vote.

If Romney had had another term as governor, the people of Massachusetts would have won the right to overrule their court and reverse gay marriage, as the people of California did.

And on the federal marriage amendment? In June of 2004, Romney testified before the U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee in favor of the federal marriage amendment, something Newt Gingrich never did. Ron Paul actively opposed a federal marriage amendment, even though it's the only way to prevent the Supreme Court from imposing gay marriage on all 50 states. Only Rick Santorum and Michele Bachmann have a record of concrete deeds on marriage that exceeds Romney's.

Romney's new mailer in Iowa says he opposes same-sex marriage and supports a federal marriage amendment.

This is not a flip-flop; it's the truth. On gay marriage he's been a rock.

Meanwhile, Ron Paul, Newt Gingrich and Herman Cain have all refused to sign a simple National Organization for Marriage pledge, promising to fight for a federal marriage amendment, vigorously defend the federal Defense of Marriage Act and appoint Supreme Court justices who will not invent a right to gay marriage in our Constitution.

And President Obama? He went before the Rev. Rick Warren in 2008 and told voters out loud that he opposed same-sex marriage. Then as president, Obama turned around and refused to defend against court attacks DOMA, which defines marriage as one man and one woman.

His own defenders say Obama's not a flip-flopper -- he was just lying to the American people to get elected.

In other words, unlike Obama, when it comes to marriage, Mitt Romney (like Santorum and Bachmann) has demonstrated he's a candidate whose word can be trusted, both politically and personally.

Copyright 2011, Maggie Gallagher

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Maggie Gallagher

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