Former Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney says he continues to oppose same-sex marriage — despite certain prominent figures within his own party and his own former advisers speaking out in favor of marriage equality.
In a four-minute segment of a previously unaired interview, the former Massachusetts governor told Fox News’ Chris Wallace that his position on same-sex marriage hasn’t evolved since the election.
“I believe that marriage is a relationship between a man and a women, and that’s because I believe the ideal setting for raising a child is where there’s a mother and a father in the home,” Romney said. “Other people have differing views and I respect that, whether that’s in my party or in the Democratic Party. But these are very personal matters. My hope is that when we discuss things of this nature, we show respect for people who have differing views.”
Romney not only opposed same-sex marriage as ran against President Obama, but campaigned on a Federal Marriage Amendment that would have banned it throughout the country and pledged to resume the executive branch’s defense of the Defense of Marriage Act in court.
On the same day Romney lost holding that position, marriage equality was legalized at the ballot in Maine, Maryland and Washington State and Minnesota voters rejected a state constitutional amendment banning same-sex marriage.
Despite Romney’s lack of change of position, a number of the 131 Republicans who signed the high-profile friend-of-the-court brief against California’s Proposition 8 were among his advisers.
Among the signers is Katie Biber, who served as general counsel for Romney both his 2008 and 2012 presidential campaigns; Beth Myers, who served as his campaign manager; Nancy Pfotenhauer, regulatory advisor for Romney during his 2008 presidential campaign; Lee Rudofsky, who was deputy general counsel for Romney in 2012; Josh Ginsberg, who was national field director for Romney in 2008; and Alex Lundry, who was director of data science for Romney in 2012.
Other signer of the brief are former Govs. William Weld, Paul Cellucci and Jane Swift of Massachusetts, Republicans who were chief executives of the state prior to the state court’s ruling in favor of marriage equality — a decision that Romney later fought.
Gay conservative groups had differing reactions to Romney’s continued opposition to marriage equality.
Jimmy LaSalvia, executive director of the gay conservative GOProud, dismissed Romney’s views as unimportant.
“I’m not sure why his opinion is relevant,” LaSalvia said. “Mitt Romney’s position on any issue has about as much relevance to the Republican Party as Michael Dukakis’s has to the Democrats.”
Gregory Angelo, executive director of the National Log Cabin Republicans, said Romney’s continued position is “not surprising,” but also noted the former GOP hopeful’s remarks that he respects differing views on the issue.
“I don’t think anyone would expect someone who was so assertive in his views on marriage to do a complete turnaround in the four months since the election,” Romney said. “What is interesting is Romney’s statement that he respects Republicans who believe in marriage equality. It shows that even among those opposed to civil marriage for same-sex couples, there is a knowledge that the voices in favor of the freedom to marry within the GOP can no longer be dismissed.”
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