Metro Weekly

Mitt Romney joins effort to overturn District’s gay marriage law, add Constitutional ban

Mitt Romney, the current leading candidate among the 2012 Republican Presidential hopefuls, has signed a pledge created by the National Organization for Marriage (NOMBlog PDF).

It contains several outrageous commitments to use anti-gay marriage tactics in the courts, to make the US Constitution outlaw same-sex marriages, and in general to eradicate marriage rights for gay male and lesbian couples throughout the United States, especially in the District of Columbia:

Michele Bachman and Rick Santorum, two other extremely anti-gay candidates, also signed the NOM pledge which reads: 

I, [Mitt Romney signature], pledge to the American people that if elected President, I will:

One, support sending a federal constitutional amendment defining marriage as the union of one man and one woman to the states for ratification.

Two, nominate to the U.S. Supreme Court and federal bench judges who are committed to restraint and to applying to restraint and to applying the original meaning of the Constitution, appoint an attorney general similarly committed, and thus reject the idea our Founding Fathers inserted a right to gay marriage in our Constitution.

Three, defend the federal Defense of Marriage Act vigorously in court.

Four, establish a presidential commission on religious liberty to investigate and document reports of Americans who have been harassed or threatened for exercising key civil rights to organize, to speak, to donate or to vote for marriage and to propose new protections, if needed.

Five, advance legislation to return to the people of the District of Columbia their right to vote on marriage.

Last month, MSNBC reported that Romney refused to sign a similar pledge from the far right religious group called The Family Leader.

Mitt Romney was the governor of Massachusetts during the long legal battle over gay marriage in that state. Romney had a long history of opposing same-sex marriage rights, and he attempted several times to stop his state from becoming the first jurisdiction in the US to legalize civil marriages for gay couples. Just before Massachusetts began issuing those marriage licenses, Romney dug up an obscure, archane law that prevented clerks from licenses to out-of-state couples.

The pledge’s fifth point refers to the legalization of gay marriages inside the city of Washington, DC. NOM has battled against DC’s same-sex marriages along side several other anti-gay, religious groups. The DC Council denounced and rebuffed their bigoted arguments, and in March of 2010, legal gay marriages began. 

Unfortunately, NOM and their allies have repeatedly argued that the District’s citizens need to be allowed to vote against the Council’s decision. They have appealed to socially conservative members of Congress who have the final say over the District’s local affairs, thereby asking non-residents to circumvent the District’s home rule. Equal marriage rights are a legally settled matter as far as the Council, the Mayor of DC, the Board of Elections, and the Attorney General are concerned. And the only reason NOM, Romney and others bring up this notion of voting on DC’s gay marriages appears to be to stop them, and to have them declared illegal once again.

JD Uy has been a Metro Weekly webmaster, distribution manager, blogger and videographer since 2002.