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Mitt Romney vowed to defend traditional marriage as president during a speech delivered to the NAACP convention today in Houston.
Only briefly did the presumptive Republican presidential nominee touch on LGBT issues when addressing the nation’s oldest civil rights organization, but his stance on marriage equality was clear.
“As president, I will promote strong families and defend traditional marriage,” Romney said. Although Romney received a chilly response from his audience for most of the speech, including boos for vowing to repeal Obamacare, members of the audience cheered Romney’s statement about marriage. The National Association for the Advancement of Colored People voted to endorse marriage equality in May.
Despite his statement on same-sex marriage, Romney struck an inclusive tone when he said he would be a president for all Americans, no matter their sexual orientation.
R. Clarke Cooper, executive director of Log Cabin Republicans, praised Romney for recognizing the need for an “inclusive Republican vision for victory” in November but criticized Romney’s stance on marriage equality.
“It is unfortunate that he countered his outreach to gay and lesbian Americans with a gratuitous attack on the freedom to marry,” Cooper said in a statement. Cooper told Metro Weekly work still needs to be done to convince Romney and other Republicans to support marriage equality.
Romney’s speech comes on the heels of the formation of a new advocacy group announced earlier this week called Young Conservatives for the Freedom to Marry. Under the umbrella of the national organization Freedom to Marry, the group hopes to give voice to conservatives under the age of 44 who believe same-sex couples deserve the right to marry.
Since running for president, Romney has taken a hardline stance on marriage equality, voicing opposition not only to same-sex marriage but to civil unions that provide many of the same rights as marriage.
ThinkProgress has video from Romney’s speech. Watch:
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