Queer Voices

Mitt Romney Tweets Condolences On Sally Ride's Death, Drawing Fiery Response From Gay Advocates

Mitt Romney is just one of a number of politicians and high-profile personalities to offer condolences on the death of Sally Ride, the first American woman in space, on Twitter and other social media outlets. But the Republican presidential nominee's response isn't sitting so well with some, particularly given the posthumous revelation that Ride was in a long-term relationship with another woman.

In his original Tweet, Romney wrote:

Not surprisingly, Romney's tweet quickly drew a number of heated responses on Twitter, with most pointing to the former Massachusetts governor's track record of not supporting lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) rights, including marriage equality. Some replies were also directed at Sarah Palin, who also tweeted her condolences on Ride's passing.

The indie-rock group Mountain Goats were among the first to respond, noting: "Kind of despicable & grotesque that her partner of 27 years will be denied federal benefits, don't you think?"

Others were similarly impassioned. "You don't get to speak about us with sentimental gushing after we're dead," wrote another user.

It is believed that Ride never publicly addressed her sexuality during her lifetime. Describing her sister as a very private person, Bear Ride told Buzzfeed: "The pancreatic cancer community is going to be absolutely thrilled that there's now this advocate that they didn't know about. And I hope the GLBT community feels the same. I hope it makes it easier for kids growing up gay that they know that another one of their heroes was like them."

View a selection of Twitter responses to both Romney's and Palin's Sally Ride tweets below:

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