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At NAACP Romney Promises To ‘Defend Traditional Marriage’ But Represent Gay Americans

by David Badash on July 11, 2012

in Bigotry Watch,Civil Rights,Discrimination,News,Politics

Post image for At NAACP Romney Promises To ‘Defend Traditional Marriage’ But Represent Gay Americans

Mitt Romney promised members of the NAACP today that he will “defend traditional marriage,” but “represent all Americans, of every race, creed, and sexual orientation,” a ludicrous contradiction. Romney, who was booed for nearly 20 seconds by the crowd earlier today when he promised to repeal Obamacare — which would take affordable healthcare away from an estimated seven million African-Americans — received mild applause by the membership who recently voted to support same-sex marriage.

Romney told the audience that he hopes “to represent all Americans, of every race, creed, and sexual orientation,” but added,

As president, I will promote strong families and defend traditional marriage

which is a ludicrous contradiction.

The Log Cabin Republicans released a statement saying they were ‘heartened” by Romney’s “inclusive tone, and added Romney “deserves credit for taking the step to include sexual orientation by name.” But R. Clarke Cooper, Log Cabin Republicans Executive Director, also noted:

That said, it is unfortunate that he countered his outreach to gay and lesbian Americans with a gratuitous attack on the freedom to marry. If Governor Romney truly desires to represent all Americans, Log Cabin Republicans encourages him to avoid divisive social issues and focus on jobs and the economy.

“Many in the audience gave Mr. Romney credit for showing up and speaking to the group, but said they were frustrated with certain aspects of his speech,” The New York Times reported:

“I give him thumbs up of for being courageous,” said William Braxton, 59, a retired attendee from Charles County, Md., with a chuckle. “He was courageous without a doubt.”

But Mr. Baxton said he took issue with Mr. Romney’s claim that he would be the best president to serve the black community.

“Oh my God, I was shocked,” Mr. Braxton said. “Never ever have I heard him say anything about how he would help the poor or underprivileged, let alone the black community. Maybe his view is that he could tell us what we want to hear and we’re supposed to swallow it.”

Donna Payne, 48, of Washington, D.C., who was at the convention as a representative of the Human Rights Campaign, said that she thought Mr. Romney “did the best he could,” before dissolving in laughter.

“To say he would repeal Obama’s health care plan is absolutely a joke,” Ms. Payne said. “I can’t believe he had the nerve to even bring up repealing the plan in the middle of speaking to an audience that fought hard for the health care plan and for coverage. It’s a total misread of who you’re talking to.”

In recent national polls, Mr. Obama still overwhelmingly leads Mr. Romney among black voters, many of whom are suspicious of Mr. Romney’s record on civil rights and diversity, especially when he was the governor of Massachusetts. Upon taking office, for his instance, he eliminated the state’s Office of Affirmative Action. Mr. Romney is also a member of the Mormon Church, which until 1978 barred blacks from entering the priesthood.

Romney also said, “I want you to know that if I did not believe that my policies and my leadership would help families of color – and families of any color – more than the policies and leadership of President Obama, I would not be running for president.”

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