Romney Aligns With NOM, Signs Anti-Gay Marriage Pledge
August 04, 2011 2:10 pm ET by Carlos Maza
Mitt Romney, who refused to sign a controversial anti-gay pledge in Iowa earlier this year, has decided to join Rep. Michelle Bachmann (R-MN) and Rick Santorum in throwing his hat in with the National Organization for Marriage (NOM). According to Politico’s Ben Smith:
Former Gov. Mitt Romney has joined Rep. Michele Bachmann and former Sen. Rick Santorum in signing a pledge to oppose same-sex marriage on a number of specific fronts.
The three candidates signed the pledge advanced by the National Organization for Marriage, which has led national and state campaigns to limit marriage to a man and a woman. The signature of the frontrunner, Romney, is a bit of a coup for the group, as he's been careful about committing to other pledges, including a broad promise to a socially conservative Iowa group that caused trouble for other candidates.
Romney, Bachmann, and Santorum signed on to supporting a federal constitutional amendment defining marriage, to appoint federal judges who don't see a Constitutional right to same-sex marriage, and to back the Defense of Marriage Act.
They've also pledged to support offering a referendum on marriage in the District of Columbia, and to establish a "presidential commission on religious liberty" aimed at protecting the rights of marriage foes to speak out.
The presidential hopeful’s signature should put an end to questions surrounding how he intends to deal with LGBT issues if elected. Moreover, his decision to align himself with NOM -- one of most aggressive anti-gay groups in the country -- raises serious questions about Romney’s claim to be “in favor of gay rights.”
Romney, for example, has been hesitant to call being gay a “sin,” but NOM’s chairwoman Maggie Gallagher hasn’t. Romney claims to be in favor of “preventing discrimination” against gay people, but NOM consistently works to allow adoption agencies and even anti-gay individuals to discriminate against LGBT people. Romney supports separating “personal faith” from his political positions, but NOM relies heavily on religious dogma to justify its anti-gay positions.
Romney’s decision to sign NOM’s anti-gay pledge has, as Smith put it, committed him “fully to the hottest front in the culture wars.” Considering recent trends in public support for marriage equality, he may have been better off retreating.