While running for Senate in 1994, Romney argued that same-sex marriage is “a state issue as you know – the authorization of marriage on a same-sex basis falls under state jurisdiction.”
As we wrote in 2007, Romney took a relatively liberal approach on gay rights during his 1994 Senate race against liberal Democratic icon Edward M. Kennedy.
During his Senate race, Romney wrote a letter to the Massachusetts branch of the Log Cabin Republicans, which read in part, "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, a policy that was ultimately approved 16 years later.
Later, Romney told KETV-TV in Omaha that,"as a society, I think we’re better off if we encourage the establishment of homes with a mother and a father." Same-sex marriage, he said, isn’t "appropriate and needed for a strong society."
Asked why he supported domestic partnerships, but not civil unions, Romney said, "If a civil union is identical to marriage other than in the name, I don't support that. But I certainly recognize that hospital visitation rights and benefits of that nature may well be appropriate. And states are able to make provisions for determination of those kinds of rights as well as, if you will, benefits that might accrue to state workers."
Romney, in another interview on Wednesday, told CBS affiliate KCNC in Denver: "My position is the same on gay marriage as it's been well, from the beginning, and that is that marriage is a relation between a man and a woman. That's the posture that I had as governor and I have that today."
"The American culture promotes personal responsibility, the dignity of work, the value of education, the merit of service, devotion to a purpose greater than self, and, at the foundation, the pre-eminence of the family," Romney said. "As fundamental as these principles are, they may become topics of democratic debate. So it is today with the enduring institution of marriage. Marriage is a relationship between one man and one woman."
Romney: Opposes legal recognition of same-sex marriage and says it should be banned with a constitutional amendment, not left to states. "Marriage is not an activity that goes on within the walls of a state." Also opposes civil unions "if they are identical to marriage other than by name," but says states should be left to decide what rights and benefits should be allowed under those unions. Says certain domestic partnership benefits —largely unspecified — as well as hospital visitation rights are appropriate but "others are not."
"My view is that marriage itself is a relationship between a man and a woman. And that's my own preference."
Unlike Obama, Romney says he hasn't changed at all. "I have the same view that I've had since running for office," he said.
“In terms of marriage, as the governor, I fought same-sex marriage every way I could find a way to do that. And I actually went to Washington -- Washington to testify in favor of an amendment to preserve the sanctity of marriage.”
“[...] I don't discriminate, and in the appointments that I made when I was governor of Massachusetts, a member of my cabinet was gay. I appointed people to the bench regardless of their sexual orientation, made it very clear that, in my view, we should not discriminate in hiring policies and legal policies. At the same time, from the very beginning in 1994, I said to the gay community: I do not favor same-sex marriage. I oppose same-sex marriage, and that has been my -- my view.”
Marriage is more than a personally rewarding social custom. It is also critical for the well-being of a civilization. That is why it is so important to preserve traditional marriage – the joining together of one man and one woman. As president, Mitt will not only appoint an Attorney General who will defend the Defense of Marriage Act – a bipartisan law passed by Congress and signed by President Clinton – but he will also champion a Federal Marriage Amendment to the Constitution defining marriage as between one man and one woman.