During an interview with the Boston Herald on Wednesday, Mitt Romney reiterated his support for a federal amendment to define marriage as a union between one man and one woman, but also said that he would establish three different tiers of marriage specifically for gay people:
Expressed support for a constitutional amendment that could create a complex three-tier system of marriage — maintaining marriage rights for straight couples, allowing gays who have already married to remain married, but barring future same-sex marriages.
“I think it would keep intact those marriages which had occurred under the law but maintain future plans based on marriage being between a man and a woman,” Romney said.
The Romney of 1994 would have opposed this system entirely. As candidate for the senate running against Teddy Kennedy, Romney had argued that same-sex marriage is “a state issue as you know — the authorization of marriage on a same-sex basis falls under state jurisdiction.” (HT: Ned Flaherty)
The Log Cabin Republicans have responded to Romney’s odd plan:
Governor Romney is contorting himself into a pretzel trying to avoid the simplest solution to a purely political problem. The best way to strengthen all families is to grant equal access to civil marriage for all couples regardless of their orientation. Governor Romney’s proposal to create a stratified system is a recipe for legal chaos. It is an offense to the rights of states like New Hampshire that have chosen to legalize marriage equality, and would, for the first time since the Civil War, enshrine second class citizenship in the American Constitution. On the state level, California is already struggling to deal with the fallout of multiple classes of marriage rights imposed by Proposition 8, proving that this system simply doesn’t work. Log Cabin Republicans appreciate the governor’s efforts to find middle ground, but this is not an acceptable solution.