December 16, 2011

Mitt Romney’s Same-Sex Marriage Betrayal, Part 1: Rick Santorum Exposes the Truth

Filed under: Taxes & Government — Tom @ 9:21 pm

RomneySantorum121511Part 2 — What Romney Really Did
Part 3 — Romney Did It Because He Promised He Would

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I’ve been more than a little frustrated by my inability due to time and make-a-living constraints to beat what should be the deadest of dead horses yet one more time.

That horse is still out there, the equine equivalent of Bernie in the “Weekend at Bernie’s” movies, pretending to have life, propped up recently by Maggie Gallagher, who should (and I believe does) know better, for years by Ann Coulter (probably ditto, except that this particular thin blonde can have a mighty thick head about certain things), and continuously by so many others.

The issue is the story of how same-sex marriage came to be in the once great state of Massachusetts. As Gallagher completely incorrectly sees it, Mitt Romney is one of the story’s heroes:

(In her tease at the Corner) … I cannot stand the injustice with which the idea that Romney is somehow responsible for gay marriage in Massachussetts has taken hold.

(in her November 30 column) … some social conservatives in Iowa appear to have gotten the idea that Mitt Romney is somehow responsible for gay marriage in Massachusetts.

I don’t mind anyone criticizing Romney for the things he has done. But this particular attack is grotesquely unfair. I know. I was there.

In the summer of 2003, when I learned the Massachusetts courts were likely to make gay marriage a reality, I quit my job and started up a think tank to work full time on the marriage issue. I traveled to Massachusetts multiple times to confer with local leaders, testify before the legislature, address grassroots gatherings, meet with policymakers.

Mitt Romney didn’t just oppose court-ordered same-sex marriage with words, he fought hard, including behind the scenes.

When the people of Massachusetts mobilized the most massive signature-gathering operation in the state’s history in support of a marriage amendment defining marriage as one man and one woman, Romney supported the effort.

… If Romney had had another term as governor, the people of Massachusetts would have won the right to overrule their court and reverse gay marriage, as the people of California did.

Stop. Right. There.

Ms. Gallagher just skipped a nearly two-year time period, namely from the November 18, 2003 Goodridge “ruling” through summer 2005 (the beginning of the constitutional amendment effort, which dragged on until June 2007, when a fundamentally dishonest and cowardly Bay State legislature failed to follow through with a call for the required Constitutional convention it had approved just five months earlier), as if it didn’t exist. In the rest of her column, she never filled in that critical time gap.

The issues are what the Goodridge decision really said (as we’ll see shortly, it was NOT an “order”), and what Mitt Romney did in the aftermath of that ruling during Maggie Gallagher’s “forgotten” period.

I’ll let Rick Santorum, speaking at last night’s debate in Iowa, supply most of the answers (I’ll fill in the holes in a subsequent part). Watch Romney’s body language and facial expression deteriorate (e.g., telltale blinking) as Santorum exposes the truth (yes, I can also tell that the former Pennsylvania senator was justifiably a bit nervous as he went through his presentation, and was sort of congratulating himself as he wrapped it up):

Transcript (“uhs” and other distractions not included):

Chris Wallace (in mid-sentence): … Are you persuaded that Governor Romney has made these changes, or what he says in some cases are not changes, based on principle and not political expedience?

Santorum: Governor Romney when he was governor of Massachusetts, was faced with a Supreme Court decision that said that same-sex marriage, uh, traditional marriage was unconstitutional.

In that court decision, the court said that they did not have the power to change the law in Massachusetts and rule same-sex marriage legal. Why? Because in the Massachusetts Constitution it states specifically that only the Governor and the Legislature can change marriage laws.

Governor Romney … the Court then gave the Legislature a certain amount of time to change the law. They did not.

So Governor Romney was faced with a choice. Go along with the Court or go along with the Constitution and the statute. He chose the Court, and ordered people to issue gay-marriage licenses and went beyond that. He personally, as Governor, issued gay marriage licenses.

(Romney chuckles in the background)

I don’t think that is an accurate representation of his position of saying “tolerance” versus substantively changing the laws.

I’ve had a strong, consistent track record of standing up for the values of this country, not discriminating — I had a no-discrimination policy in my office. But we’re not talking about discrimination, we’re talking about changing the basic values of our country.

Wallace: Governor Romney, 30 seconds to respond, sir.

(Light audience applause)

Romney: That’s a very novel understanding of what our Supreme Court in Massachusetts did. I think everybody in Massachusetts, and the legal profession in Massachusetts, and my legal counsel. I indicated that the Supreme Court of Massachusetts determined that under our Constitution, same-sex marriage was required. And the idea somehow that was up to me to make a choice as to whether we had it or not was a little unusual.

We got together with our legislature, and I fought, leading an effort to put in place a constitutional amendment in Massachusetts to overturn the court’s decision, to make marriage as a relationship between a man and a woman.

This is something I battled in the year I had after their decision. I fought it every way I possibly could. I went to Washington, testifying in favor of a federal amendment to define marriage as a relationship between a man and a woman.

Let me tell ya, I want to make it very clear. I have been a champion of protecting traditional marriage. That continues to be my view. If I somehow missed somewhere, I’m happy to get corrected. But that is something I feel very deeply.

For the record: The period between the Goodridge decision and the end of Romney’s term as Governor was three years and 1-1/2 months. Romney appears to have the same time-gap problem Maggie Gallagher exhibited in her column.

According to Steve Deace, “Romney issued a challenge that Santorum wouldn’t be able to find any respected legal authorities that would agree with his characterization of Romney’s culpability.”

Big mistake, Mitt.

Actually, you don’t need “respected legal authorities” in matters such as these. All you need to do is be able to read the plain English in the Massachusetts Constitution and the Goodridge ruling. Romney has not treated non-lawyerly others who have challenged him on this issue as (relatively) politely as he treated Santorum last night. In early 2008, in response to a phone call into WRKO in Boston from conservative commentator and author Gregg Jackson, Romney called Jackson “delusional,” further claiming that “Everybody in the entire nation knows that the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court made same-sex marriage legal and that I fought it in every single way I could.”

No we don’t Mitt — and neither do many “respected (and correct) legal authorities,” ones you told a national audience will make you “happy to be corrected.” I will cite them tomorrow morning in Part 2.

For now, let me make sure to thank Rick Santorum for having the courage to tell Emperor Mitt that on the same-sex marriage issue he has no clothes, nowhere to run, and nowhere to hide. In Part 3, I’ll remind readers that Romney’s actions in the wake of the Goodridge ruling were indisputably planned in advance, and that no less than the New York Times inadvertently and unwittingly let that cat out of the bag. Romney’s actions were also cravenly unconstitutional and violated his gubernatorial oath of office, thereby, as I have been stating for four years, making him inarguably and objectively unfit to be president of the United States.

Oh, and a final note to Maggie Gallagher, Ann Coulter, Sean Hannity, et al — Mitt Romney is not only responsible for gay marriage in Massachusetts; his cowardice is the most significant contributing factor to why it has been adopted in several other states.

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5 Comments

  1. I read the Mass. Constitution and it says nothing about requiring same sex marriage and in fact does say that decisions about marriage are to be made by the legislature or the governor. So either Mitt can’t read or is a liar.

    Comment by zf — December 16, 2011 @ 11:49 pm

  2. #1, ex-act-ly.

    Comment by TBlumer — December 17, 2011 @ 5:35 am

  3. [...] (Part 1 is here.) [...]

    Pingback by BizzyBlog — December 17, 2011 @ 9:50 am

  4. [...] Rick Santorum brought this up. Romney has denied it, some “conservative” columnists who “know better” have put in their 0.0d000025 cents, and Tom Blumer has the straight of it. Part 1 of the facts are here, but this is mostly background which you can skip if you are in a hurry. [...]

    Pingback by Polyticking, Willard Romney | Extrano's Alley, a gun blog — December 18, 2011 @ 6:48 am

  5. John Adams clearly delineated the separate powers of the three branches in the Mass. Constitution:

    … the people of this commonwealth are not controllable by any other laws than those to which their constitutional representative body have given their consent. – Part I, Article X

    The power of suspending the laws, or the execution of the laws, ought never to be exercised but by the legislature, or by authority derived from it. – Part I, Article XX

    In the government of this commonwealth, the legislative department shall never exercise the executive and judicial powers, or either of them: the executive shall never exercise the legislative and judicial powers, or either of them: the judicial shall never exercise the legislative and executive powers, or either of them: to the end it may be a government of laws and not of men. – Part I, Article XXX

    All causes of marriage, divorce, and alimony, and all appeals from the judges of probate shall be heard and determined by the governor and council, until the legislature shall, by law, make other provision. – Part II, Ch. III, Article V

    Amy Contrada, Author, “MITT ROMNEY’S DECEPTION: His Stealth Promotion of ‘Gay Rights’ and ‘Gay Marriage’ in Massachusetts”

    Comment by Amy Contrada — December 19, 2011 @ 10:44 am

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