In Private Meeting With Gay Leaders, Romney Compared LGBT Equality To Father’s Fight For ‘Civil Rights’

Romney Compared LGBT Equality To Father’s Fight For ‘Civil Rights’

From Think Progress:

in The Real Romney, out today, Boston Globe reporters Michael Kranish and Scott Helman chart Mitt Romney’s devolution from embracing equal rights for gays and lesbians in 1994 and 2002 to falling in line with the anti-gay bigotry of religious social conservatives in order to win the GOP presidential nomination at the end of his term as governor. Romney’s shift betrayed his LGBT allies in the state — including gay groups who endorsed his campaigns — and frustrated those who saw Romney’s support for equal rights as an extension of his father’s strong embrace of civil rights for African Americans. It’s a parallel Romney himself made in private meetings with gay and lesbian groups, only to abandon the comparison when the time came to swoon Christian Evangelicals.

In 1994, Romney met with the Log Cabin Republicans and pledged, “I’m with you on this stuff… I’ll be better than Ted Kennedy.” Romney promised, in writing, to fight for “full equality for America’s gay and lesbian citizens,” co-sponsor a federal employment nondiscrimination act, and characterized Don’t Ask Don’t Tell as “the first in a number of steps that will ultimately lead to gays and lesbians being able to serve openly and honestly in our nation’s military.” He told Richard Weld, the group’s founder, that marriage equality was “not appropriate at this time” and insisted that marriage should be left to the states.

Romney continued his somewhat welcome embrace of gays and lesbians while serving as head of the 2002 Utah Olympics. He approved an amended workplace nondiscrimination policy that covered sexual orientation and “later reached out to Salt Lake’s gay community as part of the committee’s effort to enhance diversity in the Olympic workforce.”

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