Mitt Romney wants you to know that allowing same-sex couples to visit each other in the hospital is a benefit — not a civil right — and he will let states take away that “benefit” if they want to. Two years ago, President Obama mandated that all hospitals treat same-sex couples with the same rights as married heterosexual couples, including visitation rights. (That’s also included, separately, in Obamacare.)
Also on the table, filed under “states rights” and not civil rights, is adoption of children by same-sex couples, and, presumably, single gay people.
“Governor Romney supports a federal marriage amendment to the Constitution that defines marriage as an institution between a man and a woman,” Romney advisor Bay Buchanan told Buzzfeed today. “Governor Romney also believes, consistent with the 10th Amendment, that it should be left to states to decide whether to grant same-sex couples certain benefits, such as hospital visitation rights and the ability to adopt children. I referred to the Tenth Amendment only when speaking about these kinds of benefits – not marriage.”
While this should not be a surprise to anyone, since Romney signed the National Organization For Marriage‘s pledge in January, and told Ralph Reed’s Faith and Freedom Coalition that he would “propose and promote” a constitutional amendment banning same-sex marriage in the U.S.
Why toss this out into the media now? Two reasons. First, red meat for the base. President Obama is the first sitting president to state he supports same-sex marriage, and has done more for the LGBT community than all U.S. presidents combined.
Second, as Buzzfeed’s Chris Geidner notes:
In a little-noted comment in the spin room following this past week’s presidential debate in New York, Romney campaign senior adviser Bay Buchanan, the sister of former presidential candidate Pat Buchanan, told The Advocate‘s Julie Bolcer, “He very much supports traditional marriage, but he’s also a very strong advocate for the Tenth Amendment. It’s a state issue.”
The report also stated that when asked about how Romney’s opposition to same-sex couples’ marriage rights, including his support for the Defense of Marriage Act, would help same-sex parents, “Buchanan responded that Romney would not get in the way of what states decide to do on marriage and adoption.”
And what does the NOM pledge require? USA Today summed it up well:
- Sending a constitutional amendment defining marriage as between one man and one woman to the states for ratification.
- Defending the federal Defense of Marriage Act, which includes the traditional definition of marriage and bans states from recognizing gay marriage, in court.
- Appointing federal judges and an attorney general who are opposed to a constitutional right to same-sex marriage.
- Appointing a commission to investigate claims of harassment against those people who support marriage as being only between a man and a woman.
- Supporting legislation that would give people living in the District of Columbia the right to vote on marriage.
Mitt Romney’s website proudly states:
Like any family, the Romneys have faced hardship: Ann was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis in 1998, and more recently fought a battle with breast cancer. She credits her husband’s unwavering care and devotion to her for helping her through these ordeals.
So, while Mitt and Ann recognize how important it is to face health crises together, he would actually allow states to prohibit same-sex couples from having the same hospital visitation rights that he and Ann have. We’re not allowed to exercise “unwavering care and devotion” like the Romneys.
It also adds:
The values that Mitt Romney learned in his home have enriched his life immeasurably. With his parents’ example before him, he married, had five sons, and now basks in the joy of eighteen grandchildren.
Marriage is more than a personally rewarding social custom. It is also critical for the well-being of a civilization. That is why it is so important to preserve traditional marriage – the joining together of one man and one woman. As president, Mitt will not only appoint an Attorney General who will defend the Defense of Marriage Act – a bipartisan law passed by Congress and signed by President Clinton – but he will also champion a Federal Marriage Amendment to the Constitution defining marriage as between one man and one woman.
Mitt wants states to take away these civil right from same-sex couples. Actually, Mitt, like on every other issue, really just doesn’t care, about them, or about you.
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