This gay young man, in a video that threatened to go viral this week, explains why he is thankful to Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney and potential VP Paul Ryan and their supporters. It just might be that he’s being sarcastic. Judge for yourself:
In the spirit of giving thanks to the Republican nominees, here are a couple of recent news stories you might have missed in which Romney and Ryan decided LGBT people weren’t worthy of the same rights and respect as straight couples.
Hospital Visitation Rights For Gays Are Just Benefits
Two years ago President Obama issued a mandate that all hospitals that receive federal funding must, per federal law, honor the prior partnership arrangements same-sex couples have put in place when it comes to visitation rights and end-of-life decisions.
Mr. Romney’s camp apparently disagrees, saying that it’s a 10th Amendment issue:
“Governor Romney supports a federal marriage amendment to the Constitution that defines marriage as an institution between a man and a woman,” Romney advisor Bay Buchanan told Buzzfeed today. “Governor Romney also believes, consistent with the 10th Amendment, that it should be left to states to decide whether to grant same-sex couples certain benefits, such as hospital visitation rights and the ability to adopt children.”
Buchanan went on to say however that Romney’s deference to the 10th Amendment stops at marriage–he still wants a constitutional amendment banning gay people getting wed. Apparently, being at your dying partner’s bedside should be a “benefit” left up to the whim of the state, while the horror of gay people marrying must be tackled unilaterally.
Romney Personally Intervened to Deny Gay Parents New Birth Certificates
As widely reported, Romney went to great lengths to fight complying with the 2003 Massachusetts Supreme Court ruling which required the state to recognize same-sex marriage. As part of that ruling the Registry of Vital Records and Statistics had to change the birth certificates of babies born to same-sex couples to create “second parent” recognition.
Romney personally intervened to stop the standard process for this change so his lawyers could review each and every individual case whereby they would, in ink, amend the form to include “second parent” recognition–this rather than allowing the Registry to begin creating and issuing certificates with the “second parent” option as standard.
Most of the birth-certificate reviews by the governor’s office appeared cursory. For example, health department deputy counsel Wiesenberg e-mailed Brian Leske and Nielsen on Dec. 23, 2004, to ask permission to issue a certificate regarding one birth: “Birth at UMass Memorial Medical Center. Facts (married mother, same sex spouse, anonymous donor) are similar to 23 other cases that Mark has reviewed . . . [and] instruct[ed] the hospital to list mother & same sex spouse as the second parent on the child’s birth certificate.”
In one instance, in which a couple asked that the handwritten alteration for the second parent say “wife” instead of second parent, the request was denied. In another, Leske refused to allow a birth certificate to be issued listing a same-sex couple as the parents because they were not married.
This practice raised questions about whether in fact Romney’s intervention was even legal and led to Romney being called out on his assertion that creating the recognition required an act of the state’s legislature.
Romney, speaking on this issue, would later tell a Senate Judiciary committee in Washington:
“The children of America have the right to have a father and a mother. What should be the ideal for raising a child? Not a village, not ‘parent A’ and ‘parent B,’ but a mother and a father. [...] Scientific studies of children raised by same-sex couples are almost nonexistent. It may affect the development of children and thereby future society as a whole.”
The above can be added to Romney’s pandering to the Value Voters Summit crowd, his disdain for the DADT repeal, his patronizing remarks to a gay veteran, his remarks that he “didn’t know” gay people had families and his opposition to civil unions.
So, thanks Mitt! You’re really working hard to dehumanize and disenfranchise America’s LGBT citizens and in so doing exposing why, for this and so many other reasons, considering you as POTUS is simply untenable.
Photo Credit: fotostelefonorojo