Mitt Romney, at this morning’s GOP debate on Meet The Press, attempted to balance his previous support for the LGBT community with the current demands of conservatives to demote, marginalize, and keep gays as second-class citizens. To the average Republican voter, he may have succeeded, but any fair-minded American can hear Romney’s words and recognize his hypocrisy.
Romney was asked to explain his 1994 stated support for gay rights, when he attempted to portray himself as more supportive than Ted Kennedy on the issue.
Andy Hiller, political editor for local Massachusetts TV station WHDH said:
“Governor Romney, I’d like to remind you of something you said in Bay Windows, which is a gay newspaper in Massachusetts, in 1994 when you were running against Senator Kennedy. These are your words: ‘I think the gay community needs more support from the Republican Party and I would be a voice in the Republican party to foster anti-discrimination efforts.’ How have you stood up for gay rights and when have you used your voice to influence Republicans on this issue?”
Romney’s response was better than a Texas Two-Step.
Claiming, “I don’t discriminate,” Romney touted his hiring of a gay cabinet member and appointing supposedly gay judges.
“I oppose same-sex marriage and that has been my view,” Romney then said.
When asked by Hiller, “When’s the last time you stood up and spoke out for increasing gay rights?,” Romney’s fallacious comment will perhaps forever be remembered:
In other words, claiming to not be discriminatory, while being discriminatory, is equivalent to increasing gay rights.
Perhaps, in today’s 19th century Republican Party, it is.
But in the real America, where the majority of Americans support same-sex marriage, the repeal of DOMA and the repeal of DADT, saying you don’t discriminate, while discriminating, is not only lying, it’s unconscionable.
Rick Santorum was next in Hiller’s questioning, and took the same antiquated tack.
“I would be a voice for speaking out for ensuring every person in America, gay or straight, is treated with respect and dignity.”
Santorum neglected to use an operative phrase.
What Santorum meant to say was, “I would be a voice for speaking out for ensuring every person in America, gay or straight, is treated with the respect and dignity, that they deserve, based on their sexual orientation.”
All of a sudden, for Santorum, marriages equality is now about a tiny thing like the law, when for decades he has been positioning it as a religious issue.
Let’s be clear here.
Equality means equality.
Separate but equal is not equality, never has been, never will be, because by definition, it cannot be.
You cannot claim to be for equality, or for non-discrimination, while discriminating.
You cannot claim to treat every person with dignity and respect, while calling them sub-human, or while using phrases, like “man on dog,” when describing same-sex sex.
You cannot be a theocrat while claiming to respect others.
You just can’t.
We invite you to sign up for our new mailing list, and subscribe to The New Civil Rights Movement via email or RSS.