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Romney needs time to determine impact of marriage equality

Former GOP presidential contender says it could take ‘generations’

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Mitt Romney said on "Meet the Press" it could take "generations" to determine the impact of marriage equality. (Screenshot via NBC News).

Mitt Romney said on “Meet the Press” it could take “generations” to determine the impact of marriage equality. (Screenshot via NBC News).

Former Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney reiterated his opposition to marriage equality on Sunday, saying it will “take a long, long time” to determine whether the advancement of same-sex marriage will have an impact the way children are raised.

Romney, who lost the election to President Obama in 2012, when asked by host David Gregory on NBC’s “Meet the Press” in an appearance to discuss the 2014 Winter Olympics whether the legalization of same-sex marriage throughout the country has had a negative impact on society.

Gregory pointed to a 2004 op-ed that Romney wrote for the Wall Street Journal in opposition to same-sex marriage, titled, “A Citizen’s Guide to Protecting Marriage.” Romney wrote it nearly ten years ago while governor of Massachusetts after the State Supreme Court legalized marriage equality, making the Bay State the first in the country to afford marriage rights to gay couples.

At first, Romney dodged in his response to Gregory’s question on whether he has found negative impact of same-sex marriage since that time, reiterating his previously stated talking points that he believes marriage should be limited to one man, one woman.

“Well, I think marriage is a relationship between a man and a woman, and I think the ideal setting for raising a child is in a setting where there’s a father and a mother,” Romney said. “Now there are many other different settings that children are raised in, and people have the right to live their life as they want to, but I think marriage should be defined in the way that it has been defined for several thousand years, and if gay couples want to live together, why that’s fine as well. That’s their right.”

But when Gregory pressed Romney to evaluate whether marriage equality has had a negative impact, the former Massachusetts governor said it’s too soon to tell and it may take “generations” before the consequences are known.

“I think it’s going to take a long, long time to determine whether having a gay marriage make it less likely for kids to be raised in settings where there’s a mom and a dad,” Romney said. “That’s not going to happen overnight. It’s something which happens over generations, in fact. Again, I think the ideal setting is whether there’s a mom and a dad that can invest their time and their resources in supporting the development of a child.”

Despite Ronmey’s concerns, major psychological and family groups have disputed the notion that gay parents aren’t as fit as straight parents in raising children. Last year, the American Academy of Pediatrics came out in support of same-sex marriage.

Romney also refused under further questioning to characterize the issue of same-sex marriage as an Republicans have lost, saying it’s playing out across the country.

“I think, in this case, it continues to be an issue that people find relevant and important, and it’s something which is being considered in various states across the country,” Romney said.

Following numerous court rulings in favor of marriage equality and expectations the issue once again reach the U.S. Supreme Court, the former Republican presidential contender added he believes the issue of marriage equality should be decided by the people, not judges.

“I do believe, by the way, that it’s best decided by the people, rather than by the courts,” Romney said. “I think when the courts step in and make a decision of this nature, they’re removing from the people something which they have the right to decide themselves.”

In 2012, Romney campaigned not only in opposition to same-sex marriage, but signed a pledge with the anti-gay National Organization for Marriage to support a U.S. constitutional amendment that would ban gay nuptials throughout the country and defend the Defense of Marriage Act in court.

David Gregory: Lemme talk to you about politics, and of course, the issue of gay rights around the world, particularly in Russia, has been part of the backdrop of these games, and you think about the issue of same-sex marriage in America. Ten years ago, almost to the month, it was Massachusetts when you were governor that really set same-sex marriage rights into motion.

You wrote about it at the time rather pointedly, where you said, after that decision by the court, “The definition of marriage is not a matter of semantics. It will have lasting impact on society.” Ten years later, as you’ve seen same-sex marriage now in 17 states and the District of Columbia, has it had a negative impact on society in your judgement?

Mitt Romney: Well, I think marriage is a relationship between a man and a woman, and I think the ideal setting for raising a child is in a setting where there’s a father and a mother. Now there are many other different settings that children are raised in, and people have the right to live their life as they want to, but I think marriage should be defined in the way that it has been defined for several thousand years, and if gay couples want to live together, why that’s fine as well. That’s their right.

Gregory: But lemme just follow up, do you think it’s actually had a negative impact on society that you have so many states now recognizing it?

Romney: Oh, I think it’s going to take a long, long time to determine whether having a gay marriage make it less likely for kids to be raised in settings where there’s a mom and a dad. That’s not going to happen overnight. It’s something which happens over generations, in fact. Again, I think the ideal setting is whether there’s a mom and a dad that can invest their time and their resources in supporting the development of a child.

Gregory: As you look at the progression of this issue, as a Republican do you think Republicans have lost the fight politically over this?

Romney: I don’t know that you have to worry about who wins and who loses a particular fight. I think if you stand for various principles, you communicate those to the American people, and they either support those or not. Sometimes, if something is lost, why, you move on to the next issue. You wish you would have won that one, but you move on. I think, in this case, it continues to be an issue that people find relevant and important, and it’s something which is being considered in various states across the country.

I do believe, by the way, that it’s best decided by the people, rather than by the courts. I think when the courts step in and make a decision of this nature, they’re removing from the people something which they have the right to decide themselves.

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World

Pope Francis: Gender ideology is ‘one of the most dangerous colonizations’ in the world

Argentina newspaper published interview with pontiff on March 10

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Pope Francis (Photo by palinchak via Bigstock)

Pope Francis earlier this month said gender ideology is “one of the most dangerous ideological colonizations” in the world today.

“Gender ideology, today, is one of the most dangerous ideological colonizations,” Francis told La Nación, an Argentine newspaper, in an interview that was published on March 10. “Why is it dangerous? Because it blurs differences and the value of men and women.”

“All humanity is the tension of differences,” added the pontiff. “It is to grow through the tension of differences. The question of gender is diluting the differences and making the world the same, all dull, all alike, and that is contrary to the human vocation.”

The Vatican’s tone towards LGBTQ and intersex issues has softened since since Francis assumed the papacy in 2013.

Francis publicly backs civil unions for same-sex couples, and has described laws that criminalize homosexuality are “unjust.” Church teachings on homosexuality and gender identity have nevertheless not changed since Francis became pope.

Francis told La Nación that he talks about gender ideology “because some people are a bit naive and believe that it is the way to progress.” The Catholic News Agency further notes Francis also said these people “do not distinguish what is respect for sexual diversity or diverse sexual preferences from what is already an anthropology of gender, which is extremely dangerous because it eliminates differences, and that erases humanity, the richness of humanity, both personal, cultural, and social, the diversities and the tensions between differences.”

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Maryland

Md. House of Delegates approves transgender rights bill

State Medicaid program would be required to cover gender-affirming treatment

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Md. state Sen. Mary Washington (D-Baltimore City) speaks at a press conference for the Trans Health Equity Act in Annapolis, Md., on Feb. 14, 2023. (Washington Blade photo by Linus Berggren)

The Maryland House of Delegates on Saturday approved a bill that would require the state’s Medicaid program to cover gender-affirming treatment for transgender people.

House Bill 283, or the Trans Health Equity Act, passed by a 93-37 vote margin. The measure now goes before the Maryland Senate.

“Proud that the MD House of Delegates passed the Trans Health Equity Act with such a strong majority,” tweeted state Del. Anne Kaiser (D-Montgomery County), who introduced HB 283.

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Politics

Chasten Buttigieg speaks out against Pence’s homophobic remarks

Pence doubled down Thursday on homophobic remarks about the Transportation Secretary

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Chasten Buttigieg on The View (Screen shot/YouTube)

Chasten Buttigieg, husband of Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg, said former Vice President Mike Pence has not apologized for homophobic and misogynistic remarks about the couple that he made at a dinner in D.C. last weekend.

“I spoke up because we all have an obligation to hold people accountable for when they say something wrong, especially when it’s misogynistic, especially when it’s homophobic,” Chasten Buttigieg said during an appearance Thursday on ABC’s The View.

Last Saturday, Pence had joked that following the birth of the Buttigieg twins in 2021, the transportation secretary took “maternity leave” and then the country suffered “postpartum depression” over issues with airlines and air travel.

The former vice president delivered the remarks — which were first reported by the Washington Blade — during the annual Gridiron Club dinner, which he headlined along with Secretary of State Antony Blinken and New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy (D).

Per tradition, speakers at the dinner are expected to poke fun at political figures, including guests in attendance, but Pence’s comments quickly drew outrage for their homophobia and misogyny.

White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre addressed the matter in a comment shared with the Blade on Monday, “The former vice president’s homophobic joke about Secretary Buttigieg was offensive and inappropriate, all the more so because he treated women suffering from postpartum depression as a punchline.”

The Buttigiegs have been public about the “terrifying” ordeal they suffered following the premature births of their twins. The newborns developed serious Respiratory Syncytial Virus Infections (RSV) — which required one to be hospitalized, put on a ventilator, and transferred to a children’s hospital in Grand Rapids, Mich., for treatment.

“An honest question for you, @Mike_Pence, after your attempted joke this weekend,” Chasten Buttigieg tweeted on Monday, “If your grandchild was born prematurely and placed on a ventilator at two months old – their tiny fingers wrapped around yours as the monitors beep in the background – where would you be?”

The transportation secretary, asked on Monday whether they are owed an apology from Pence, said, “I’ll let others speak to that.”

During Thursday’s interview, Chasten Buttigieg called out the hypocrisy of Pence’s putative identity as a “family values Republican,” telling the talk show’s hosts, “I don’t think he’s practicing what he preaches here.”

“But also,” he added, “it’s a bigger conversation about the work that women do in families — taking a swipe at all women and all families and expecting that women would stay home and raise children is a misogynistic view.”

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