In my last blog post, which lit up the Internet and social media, I quoted Mitt Romney making shocking remarks that were highlighted in investigative reporter Murray Waas' Boston Globe story last week. Now, for the first time in this campaign, video has surfaced of Romney making those bigoted claims about gay parents while pushing his heartless policy against their children.
Waas' article revealed how Romney, as governor of Massachusetts, refused to allow birth certificate forms to be reprinted to accommodate the children of gay and lesbian couples, stigmatizing those kids and creating possible hardships for the rest of their lives. Documents Waas unearthed showed how Romney required hospitals to instead cross out "mother" or "father" on the birth certificates of children born to same-sex couples and write in, with a pen, "second parent," and only with the permission of Romney's office.
One of two video clips that Waas has now uploaded to YouTube shows Romney speaking to conservative voters in South Carolina in 2005, as he was testing the waters for a presidential bid, discussing his battle with the Registry of Vital Statistics and Records regarding the birth certificate forms. Romney distorted the Registry of Vital Statistics' plan, which was to change the labeling of boxes on the forms from "father" and "mother" to "father or second parent" and "mother or second parent." He claimed the plan was to change the form to have "Parent A" and Parent B" boxes, when, as the documents Waas obtained show, those terms were not in fact used:
Today, same-sex couples are marrying, under the law, in Massachusetts. Some gays are actually having children born to them. We've been asked to remove the phrase "mother" and "father" and replace it with "parent A" and "parent B." It's not right on paper. It's not right in fact. Every child has the right to have a mother and father.
The second clip, from C-SPAN, includes footage of Romney speaking before the Senate Judiciary Committee in Washington, D.C., a few months earlier (at the 6:11 mark). In that clip he speaks about child development:
The children of America have the right to have a mother and a father. Of course, even today circumstances can take a parent from the home, but the child still has a mother and a father. If the parents are unmarried or divorced, the child can still visit each of them. If a mother or a father of a child is deceased, the child can learn about the qualities of their departed parent. His or her psychological features can be developed by the contrasting features of both genders. Are we ready to usher in a society indifferent about having mothers and fathers? Will our children be indifferent about a having a mother and father?"
Romney outlined his battle with the Registry of Vital Statistics to the Senate Judiciary Committee regarding changing the birth certificate forms. He defended his position to the Judiciary Committee (and again claimed it was about changing the form to include boxes labeled "parent A" and "parent B" when that was not the case) even as a Massachusetts Department of Health attorney warned that it didn't conform to legal statues and could disadvantage the children later in life, impeding their ability to apply for school and get passports, drivers licenses or other forms of identification, particularly in a post-9/11 world where they might be viewed as security risks with altered birth certificates.
In 2006 Romney went on to stop the publication of an anti-bullying guide for public school students, because the term "bisexual'' and "transgender'' were used in a passage discussing harassment against students. These and other actions were a stark turnaround from when Romney had, in his Senate run in 1994, told gay activists that he was better on gay issues than Ted Kennedy, claiming to support an array of rights for gays and saying that his voice would have more weight on the issue than Kennedy's.
What seems clear now, looking at Romney's record, in which he made a lot of promises to gays in those early years but never delivered, is that the pandering he did was to gay activists and the voters of Massachusetts, as the devout Mormon used that state as a stepping stone to the presidency. The real Romney is the guy who actually delivered to cultural conservatives and sought to harm the children of gay couples, and who is now running for president with the backing of those very same religious extremists.
Also on The Huffington Post: