Mitt Romney: Flip, Flop, or Slip on ENDA?
By bpassmore Posted in 2008 — Comments (22) / Email this page » / Leave a comment »
A guest post by A. Harris, HucksArmy.com
See this post for some info on the ENDA:
Even though they are fierce rivals for the Republican nomination, Mike Huckabee and Mitt Romney have been, for a long time, two of my top choices: Huckabee number one. Romney number two or three. I have some concern over Romney’s position changes on abortion, gun control, the Bush tax cuts, etc… But for the sake of all of you who have traveled that well-beaten path many times already, I don’t want to question Romney’s sincerity here. Huckabee’s positions have simply been stronger and more consistent in those areas, and that’s why he has my support.
All that said, yesterday I was confronted with a startling revelation about Mitt Romney’s current position on gay rights. It is one, to be honest, that greatly concerns me. Not the least because his own experience as governor means that he should know better.
What am I talking about? Well, I refer to Romney’s continued support for employment non-discrimination laws for sexual orientation — laws that would prohibit discrimination based on “actual or perceived” sexual orientation. This is serious, my friends.
When he was running for Senate in 1994, Romney voiced his support for the Federal Employment Non-Discrimination Act (the strongly-opposed ENDA bill) in this interview:
Newspaper: Do you support the federal lesbian and gay civil rights bill that would ban anti-gay discrimination in employment, housing, public accommodations and credit?
Romney: This is Barney Frank's legislation?
Newspaper: This is not just employment, but also housing, public accommodations and credit.
Romney: I am not fully aware of that bill, so I would need to study that more fully. I am aware of the legislation that Barney Frank proposed [the Employment Non-Discrimination Act] and do support that and would vote in favor of that.
[Interview with Senate Candidate Mitt Romney, Bay Windows, 8/25/94]
However, in a December 14, 2007 interview with Kathryn Jean Lopez of the National Review, Romney renounced his support for the federal act, providing many good reasons why:
Lopez: And what about the 1994 letter to the Log Cabin Republicans where you indicated you would support the Federal Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA) and seemed open to changing the “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy in the military? Are those your positions today?
Romney: No. I don’t see the need for new or special legislation. My experience over the past several years as governor has convinced me that ENDA would be an overly broad law that would open a litigation floodgate and unfairly penalize employers at the hands of activist judges.
Romney’s characterization of those laws — which as he says, he saw up-close in Massachusetts — is entirely accurate.
Similar laws on the books in 17 states are not only a threat to employers, but to religious freedom: effectively forcing businessmen, pastors, and/or leaders of religious organizations to hire persons engaged in lifestyles they believe are sinful.
It was these same non-discrimination laws that laid the groundwork for legalizing gay marriage in Massachusetts — and also forced Boston’s Catholic Charities to shut down its century-old adoption agency because it refused to place children in gay households against the teachings of the Catholic faith. There are many other examples.
So what is my concern about Romney? Well, whether you call it a flip, a flop, or a slip, just two days later on NBC’s Meet the Press, Governor “Should-Know-Better” Romney said that he does support non-discrimination laws for sexual orientation on the state level.
Here’s the transcript from MSNBC:
Russert: You said [in 1994] that you would sponsor [Sen. Ted Kennedy’s federal] Employment Nondiscrimination Act. Do you still support it?
Romney: At the state level. I think it makes sense at the state level for states to put in provision of this.
Russert: Now, you said you would sponsor it at the federal level.
Romney: I would not support at the federal level, and I changed in that regard because I think that policy makes more sense to be evaluated or to be implemented at the state level.
In case you missed it: Russert asked Romney if he still supported ENDA. Romney replied that he did support them at the state level. He said that implementing such laws “makes sense.”
Mitt, how could you? You’ve shown that you understand the problem conservatives have with these laws. You said that your own experience in Massachusetts showed you that those laws at the state level are bad news. Two days later you express your support.
I’m sorry, but if that is what Romney said – and the transcript and the video (see 2:34) show that it is – I cannot see how conservatives can trust him to be strong in standing against the homosexual agenda, I just can’t. I’ve been part of this battle in my own state, and this is serious.
If you are a Romney supporter, I ask you to not simply brush this off or just attack me for supporting Huckabee. I know our guys are in a fierce fight in Iowa, but like so many of us have said, this race is about the issues. Coming from a guy who wants to support the Republican nominee and who wants to like Romney, I’m asking you to take an honest look at what I’ve shared. This is something voters have to consider.