Romney Refused To Provide Accurate Birth Certificates For Children Of Same-Sex Parents

Further clarifying Mitt Romney’s insensitivity to LGBT people and their families (which he didn’t even know they have), the Boston Globe reports that as governor of Massachusetts, Romney prevented the Department of Health from issuing accurate birth certificates for the children of married same-sex couples. After marriage equality was ruled into law by the Massachusetts Supreme Court in late 2003, the Registry of Vital Records and Statistics insisted that birth certificate forms needed to be revised from the “father”/”mother” dichotomy to include gay and lesbian parent — but Romney objected.

Instead, the GOP presidential frontrunner forced his top legal staff to individually review every same-sex birth, and only after winning their approval could hospital officials and town clerks manually cross out “father” on the forms for lesbian couples. Gay males couples were actually required to seek a court order to secure their parenthood. As a result of these arbitrary policies, the 10-day deadlines for issuing birth certificates were often not met for many children.

According to the Globe, dozens of email and legal memo exchanges document Romney’s intention to make it more difficult for same-sex couples to start families. Peggy Wiesenberg, deputy general counsel for the Department of Public Health, warned that the process placed their children at an unfair disadvantage, particularly later in life when the authenticity of their certificates is questioned.  In addition, she pointed out that crossouts and handwritten alterations constituted “violations of existing statutes” that harmed “the integrity of the vital record-keeping system.” Romney’s aides largely dismissed town clerks’ concerns and the birth certificate forms were only officially changed after Gov. Deval Patrick (D) took office.

Romney’s objections to same-sex adoption are well documented. He told the Faith and Freedom Conference in June that children are better off with heterosexual parents and in 2006 claimed that “the price of same-sex marriage is paid by children.” And though Romney now claims to be okay with states allowing the “benefit” of same-sex adoption, he has also spoken out against it during the 2012 campaign.