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In a Sept. 14, 2007 interview on MSNBC, Romney said, "I have not changed my position on the marriage amendment or anything else related to marriage that ...you know, I think the New York Times said that I had changed my tone."
Here's a look at his comments over the years:
In 1994, as a candidate for the U.S. Senate, he told a Boston-area gay newspaper that the definition of marriage was a "state issue as you know -- the authorization of marriage on a same-sex basis falls under state jurisdiction."
During his Senate race, Romney wrote in a letter to the Massachusetts branch of the Log Cabin Republicans, "I am more convinced than ever before that as we seek to establish full equality for America's gay and lesbian citizens, I will provide more effective leadership than my opponent." He promised the group that he would support laws preventing discrimination against gays and lesbians in the workplace and implied his hope for the eventual full integration of gays in the military.
But even in 1994, he clearly opposed legalizing same-sex marriage, telling the Bay Windows newspaper that he backed the current governor's position that the law should only uphold male-female marriages.
In 2002, when Romney was governor, his wife, son and daughter-in-law signed a petition supporting a proposed amendment to the Massachusetts constitution, that would not only ban the state from recognizing same-sex marriages, but further stated, "Any other relationship shall not be recognized as a marriage or its legal equivalent, nor shall it receive the benefits or incidents exclusive to marriage."
But Romney quickly expressed his opposition to the amendment, saying that although he believed marriage was between a man and a woman, the language barring civil unions was "too extreme," with his spokesman telling the Boston Globe, "Mitt does not support it. As far as Mitt is concerned, it goes farther than current law, and therefore it's unnecessary."
Yet in 2003, when the Massachusetts Supreme Court ruled that same-sex couples could be married in the state, Romney urged the legislature to adopt a constitutional amendment banning the practice. He has since supported a similar amendment to the U.S. Constitution, despite the fact that the congressionally proposed constitutional amendment includes language similar to the 2002 Massachusetts ballot proposal that he opposed.
And so we give Romney a Half-True. He is correct that he has been consistent in his opposition to same-sex marriage, but has changed his position as to the scope of an amendment that he would support.
New York Times, Romney's Tone on Gay Rights Is Seen as Shift
Bay Windows, Romney: I'll be better than Ted for gay rights
Mitt Romney, 1994 letter to Massachusetts Log Cabin Republicans
Boston Globe, "Romney Kin Signed Petition to Ban Same-Sex Marriage," March 22, 2002
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