Ben Smith reports that Mitt Romney has signed-on to the National Organization for Marriage (NOM’s) anti-gay campaign pledge, joining fellow candidates Rick Santorum and Michele Bachmann. The document — while far less controversial than a similar effort by Iowa’s FAMiLY LEADER — commits the 2012 contenders to strongly opposing the advancement of LGBT equality:
Romney has consistently opposed expanding marriage to gays and lesbians, while paradoxically insisting that he supports equal rights for everyone. And he has tailored that massage to please his shifting audiences.
During his failed 1994 campaign for the Senate, for instance, Romney told the Log Cabin Republicans, “We must make equality for gays and lesbians a mainstream concern,” promised to co-sponsor the Federal Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA) and even claimed that he would do more for the gay community than the late Sen. Ted Kennedy.
In his 2002 campaign for governor, Romney struck a similar note, saying that “all citizens deserve equal rights, regardless of their sexual orientation” and argued that “domestic partnership status should be recognized in a way that includes the potential for health benefits and rights of survivorship.” His campaign even sent out a “Happy Pride” flier to the gay community.
Shortly thereafter, Romney began emphasizing his opposition to marriage equality, reiterating traditional conservative talking points about how same-sex unions would negatively affect children. He testified before the Senate Judiciary Committee in support of a federal marriage amendment and later sent a letter to Congress urging it to pass the measure. “I think, very important to the country because marriage is not just about adults. Marriage is about the development and nurturing of kids, and in my view, the development of a child is enhanced by having a mom and dad,” Romney explained in 2007.
Yet today, the former Massachusetts governor still insists that he is “in favor of gay rights.” Asked if he believes homosexuality is a sin by CNN’s Piers Morgan, Romney simply said, “Nice try.”