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Romney: Hospital Visitation For Gay Couples Are ‘Benefits’ Not Rights

by David Badash on October 20, 2012

in Civil Rights,Marriage,News,Politics

Post image for Romney: Hospital Visitation For Gay Couples Are ‘Benefits’ Not Rights

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.”

READ: ‘I Didn’t Know You Had Families’ Mitt Romney Told Group Of Gay Parents

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.

READ: 22 LGBT Advances That (Probably) Will Disappear Under A President Romney

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.

Images: Mitt and Ann Romney, via Romney pledge via the National Organization For Marriage


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lyncosm October 20, 2012 at 10:27 pm

I do believe that's a pack of cigarettes sitting in front of Mitt. Hope he's not smoking,but if he does Ann may have the " benefit " of visiting him in the hospital if he should get sick. Everyone in the gay community should have the right to do the same. Seeing your loved one in a hospital should never be thought of as a benefit. It cheapens the very essence of being a human being. We have to do everything in our power to see to it that President Obama is re-elected to insure that all people have equal rights.

pill_girl October 21, 2012 at 12:21 am

ok so mitt contradicts himself on this issue. as usual. he has stated that he will "propose and promote" a constitutional amendment to ban gay marriage. he has also stated that he won't interfere with the states' rights to define this issue for themselves. which is it mitt?

akdouglas1 October 21, 2012 at 8:10 am

what an ass

yourmuse October 21, 2012 at 8:58 am

This article needs just a dollop more of accuracy. President Obama required all hospitals receiving *federal funding* to afford same-sex couples the same visitation rights as hetero ones. So this exempts let's say, a very Christian-y private hospital from equality. At least no right winger could claim their religious freedom was trampled on here.

Serenifly October 21, 2012 at 2:33 pm

It's not just about direct funding, but mainly about Medicare/Medicaid. And that covers almost all of them. Very few hospitals are self-sufficient like you describe. Especially not Catholic ones.

bonjupatten October 21, 2012 at 11:38 am

I sincerely hope that Anne Romney dies painfully from her MS. I hope that Mitt Romney gets arrested for the voter fraud he is perpetrating on the USA. through ISSA-gate and through GOP Contractors who are getting arrested in Key swing states even as I write this. I hope TAGG ROMNEY is forever barren and some of the children he had through a surrogate all come out as GAY. I hope that the Romney & Ryan families cease to exist and that all people voting the Tea Party die painfully.

I hope and pray to your god for all these things to happen.

Bonju Patten

whistledink October 21, 2012 at 9:40 pm

Sir, I sincerely hope that you find a way to address your anger issues one day. Wishing that kind of evil on people simply because we disagree with them is not the mark of civilized human beings.

JGforGOP October 22, 2012 at 2:14 pm

I'd be very interested to know where you get your information/news from, is it as hate filled & vile as you are or did you get this sick & twisted all by yourself.

That next knock on the door maybe the Secret Service…

Nashvillemykl October 23, 2012 at 7:45 am

I appreciate your curse. I hope you have the juice to make it stick.

Rosie1111 October 24, 2012 at 6:53 pm

Its sad to see the hate you are spreading!!

Lauri no alterations needed October 21, 2012 at 4:00 pm

Bonju, even though I am an avid Obama supporter, or maybe BECAUSE I am, I would strongly discourage the kind of wishes and language you use. This is not what we should be wishing for. What we should wish for is that Obama be re-elected, and that the Romney family has a change of heart and see the light. Not for painful deaths.

whistledink October 21, 2012 at 9:43 pm

I've long been an advocate of gays being given the same opportunities as everyone else, and not be singled out for their simple desire to live their lives.

My daughter "came out" two weeks ago, so it all means even more to me now. My love for her is unchanged.

Mr. Romney, I don't care what your religion says about gays, common sense and human decency speak much more clearly and loudly to me.

Swen_Ardere October 22, 2012 at 12:09 am

So, we see that Romney is apparently a strict constructionist on the issue of marriage. I wonder how many other issues he applies his constructionist opinions to. My guess is not many. For instance, in the original constitution, blacks weren't citizens and women didn't have the right to vote. Those were added later, after the framers were long dead. And while the right to bear arms is enshrined in the 2nd Amendment, the framers couldn't possibly have envisioned any of our our modern automatic guns. But we're chided anytime we mention gun legislation because the 2nd Amendment MUST be honored as written. After all, the constitution isn't just a secular document, it's also (apparently) a HOLY document–to some of the radical religionists trying to usurp it. You see, with the Republicans, it's OK to omit most issues from any strict constructionist interpretation, just as long as you revere the Constitution as the inspired word of God and throw the gays under the bus.

JGforGOP October 22, 2012 at 3:22 am

This is what happens when you only get half of the story…In reality he said it was a benefit & a right. But guess what, the left ponced on the sound bite & spread it all over trying to demonize the right as usual. If I thought what the left reported was true I would agree with you too…

"Bay Buchanan, a senior advisor for the Romney campaign, added that Romney believes that states should decide whether gay couples should have certain rights like hospital visitation, and the ability to adopt children, but not marriage rights."

"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. "

whistledink October 22, 2012 at 8:00 am

Regardless, *his* position, and he has made this clear, is that gays are not worthy of the rights given to other Americans. The fact that he would let the states make the actual laws persecuting gays is little more than a cop-out.

GaelicWench October 22, 2012 at 11:44 am

Hey Mitt-ster….we say EQUAL rights…..not equal benefits.

4Iwillsurvive November 2, 2012 at 12:23 am

As ridiculous as me commenting on Ann's bleached blonde hair and black eyebrows, it's just as ridiculous the notion that anyone should tell another who to love and how to live!
This is America, the last I looked!
Liberty and Justice for ALL not just some!!!!!!

Robroberts2009 November 3, 2012 at 11:09 pm

If Mitt Romney wins and prevents same sex hospital visitation I sincerely hope Ann and he die a miserable death alone in a hospital room.

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