You are a Republican thinking of tossing your hat into the ring to be your party's candidate for president in '08...what's the surest way to jump start a possible run?
Apparently, outgoing Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney thinks it is by trampling on the backs of America's gays and lesbians.
Massachusetts became the only state to legalize gay marriage, in May of 2004, following a state Supreme Court ruling from 6 months earlier. That decision found it unconstitutional that only heterosexuals in the state were allowed to marry.
Romney Rallies The Right-Wing Base
At an anti-gay marriage rally this past Sunday, Gov. Romney vowed to ask his state's highest court to order an amendment banning gay marriage onto the ballot if state legislators do not vote on the matter when they reconvene in January.
Romney apparently was troubled that state lawmakers on Nov. 9th voted to recess, thereby avoiding a vote on whether to put the proposed amendment on the ballot. So distressed was Romney that he sent copies of the Massachusetts Constitution and an angry letter to legislators accusing them of violating the constitution.
So, how exactly does this make Romney a disingenuous fraud?
Bay Windows, which bills itself as "New England's largest LGBT newspaper," details Romney's hypocrisy quite well, in an article titled, "Mitt Romney: Garden variety bigot or political opportunist?"
According to the article, if Romney had not merely been posturing, he would have focused his lobbying prior to the state constitutional convention, where this issue was being addressed.
In her Bay Windows piece, Susan Ryan-Vollmar writes:
"As we all know, lawmakers voted 109-87 to recess the ConCon until Jan. 2, 2007. There is a slim chance that lawmakers could vote on the measure then, but it’s extremely unlikely. Just about every observer of Beacon Hill politics believes that the amendment is dead. But right up until the morning of the ConCon, when pro-equality lawmakers and advocates sewed up enough votes to win a motion to recess the ConCon, the legislature could have gone the other way and voted to approve the amendment. The recess vote was a tough one for many lawmakers and it was a vote that the VoteOnMarriage.org side could have won. If, that is, the governor had actually been working with them.Romney's Transformation
"In the last two years, Romney has spouted some over-the-top rhetoric about civil marriage rights for same-sex couples. He has claimed that such marriages harm children, that they diminish the marriages of heterosexual couples, that they mark the decline of tradition and order in society. You would think a man genuinely fearful for the health of marriage, a man who was actually in a position to do something about it, would do everything in his power to “defend” marriage. Think again. The only thing motivating this governor is personal ambition. The likely reason for his failure to hold a raucous rally prior to the Nov. 9 ConCon was his calculation that he had absolutely nothing to gain from it. What if he held the rally and the measure died anyway? Too risky. So Romney waited and held his made-for-TV-ad spectacular long after it could have any impact whatsoever on the actual debate."
The Bay Windows article also refers to the transformation of Romney from moderate to extremist on gay issues:
"When Romney ran against Ted Kennedy for the Senate in 1994, he wrote a letter to the Mass Log Cabin Club in which he pledged: '[A]s we seek to establish full equality for America’s gay and lesbian citizens, I will provide more effective leadership than my opponent.'"There's more:
"During his 2001 run for governor, his campaign distributed bright pink flyers at the June Pride parade declaring 'Mitt and Kerry wish you a great Pride weekend!' During his inaugural speech, he said it was important to defend civil rights 'regardless of gender, sexual orientation, or race.' He appointed eight openly gay and lesbian people to high profile positions in his administration. And before he decided to run for president — that is to say, before he needed to establish some strong anti-gay bonafides — Romney doubled the budget line item for the Governor’s Commission on Gay and Lesbian Youth. This would be the same commission, mind you, that Romney tried to disband in highly public fashion last May."The Sky Never Fell
It should be noted that more than 8,000 gay couples in Massachusetts have exchanged vows in the state, since gay marriage became legal. This did not result in the state being smitten by a huge ball of divine fire, or the spontaneous destruction of Massachusetts' heterosexual unions and family units.
All it did was allow committed couples to have more state-guaranteed protections for their same-sex partners.
Interesting how homophobic bigots, who always seem to accuse gays of being immoral and promiscuous, are most upset that gay people be allowed to solidify a monogamous, committed relationship that would allow gays to protect their own family units.
The Last Word
In a story from the Nov. 21st edition of the Boston Globe, the following observation is made:
"He is a fraud -- this whole thing is a fraud," said Senator Jarrett T. Barrios of Cambridge, one of the legislators who voted to recess. "It is a ploy for his run for president. The Legislature had rejected his efforts to insert discrimination into the constitution."I would say that Senator Barrios has Mitt Romney pegged perfectly.