May 9th, 2012
05:26 PM ET
3 years ago

Romney says his views on same-sex marriage haven't changed

Oklahoma City (CNN) - Mitt Romney reaffirmed his belief that marriage is between a man and a woman, hours after the Wednesday announcement by President Barack Obama in support of same-sex marriage.

The presumptive GOP nominee told reporters he believed states should have the ability to extend some rights to gay couples, short of marriage.

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"States are able to make decisions with regard to domestic partnership benefits such as hospital visitation rights, benefits and so forth, of various kinds can be determined state by state, but my view is that marriage itself is a relationship between a man and a woman and that's my own preference," he said at the Oklahoma Republican Party headquarters in Oklahoma City. "This is a very tender and sensitive topic as are many social issues, but I have the same view that I've had since running for office."

Responding to a growing media stir over his stance on gay marriage, President Obama said on ABC News he supported the right of same-sex couples to marry.

His announcement came a day after voters in North Carolina resoundingly approved an amendment to the state's constitution defining marriage as between a man and a woman.

While North Carolina joined a swath of swing states - including Virginia, Florida, Nevada and Ohio - in passing traditional marriage legislation, a Gallup poll released in early May showed Americans are split over the issue.

Romney has long hewn to a conservative stance on marriage, though as Massachusetts governor he reached out to gay rights groups with pledges of support on other issues.

This campaign cycle he signed a National Organization for Marriage pledge in support of a federal marriage amendment.

Even before Obama's comments Wednesday, Romney reiterated his opposition to expanding marital rights to same-sex couples.

"Well when these issues were raised in my state of Massachusetts, I indicated my view, which is I do not favor marriage between people of the same gender, and I do not favor civil unions if they are identical to marriage other than by name," Romney told Colorado news station KDVR. "My view is the domestic partnership benefits, hospital visitation rights, and the like are appropriate but that the others are not."

Following Romney's press conference, Obama's reelection campaign immediately seized on Romney's remarks.

Spokesman Ben LaBolt tweeted: "@MittRomney just refused to say he supports hospital visitation rights at a federal level for gays and lesbians."

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Filed under: Mitt Romney • Same-sex marriage
soundoff (129 Responses)
  1. Myviewis

    So how exactly will this change the jobless situation we are having? How will this change people exhausting their savings? How will this bring the gasoline price down? How will this bring back "Made in the USA"?

    May 9, 2012 05:31 pm at 5:31 pm |
  2. Toni

    Willard, you really need to stop wearing dresses & be a man & tell the people of this great nation exactly what you stand for. Do you think that us American Respect a WEISEL that Runs & hides on EVERYTHING???/ MITT, LOSE THE DRESS!!!!!!!!

    May 9, 2012 05:33 pm at 5:33 pm |
  3. Obama 2012 - BEND Forward America, take another 4 long years of FAILURE

    Play it cool Romney. Let the Obama campaign implode on its own. He just handed the election to you.

    May 9, 2012 05:34 pm at 5:34 pm |
  4. Beverly - NYC

    His views haven't changed, YET. Sure it's okay to have a few sister wives, multiple out of wedlock children, and force teenagers to marry against their wishes. But two committed adults wanting a union legal, can't have that.

    May 9, 2012 05:34 pm at 5:34 pm |
  5. rs

    Too bad Mr. Romney's party has decided they would rather keep gays from even having civil unions. I am SURE he'll change his mind (again and again and again and...).

    May 9, 2012 05:35 pm at 5:35 pm |
  6. Devon

    I am the Savior of the Auto Industry...... Yea thats the ticket....... with my wife........ Morgan Fairchild......... Yea.........Thats the ticket!!!!!

    May 9, 2012 05:35 pm at 5:35 pm |
  7. vote the Tea Party OUT in 2012

    if the GOP supported gay marriage, especially the far right wing, you could bet your bottom dollar Mitt would as well. It would be so funny that as close as this election is predicted to be, it would be the LGBT vote that would push Obama over the top. I would LOVE to see that happen.

    May 9, 2012 05:35 pm at 5:35 pm |
  8. Claudia, Houston, Tx

    The World isn't coming to an end because Mitt Romney doesn't agree, in fact, the end is coming for Romney.

    May 9, 2012 05:37 pm at 5:37 pm |
  9. Devon

    Silly Mormon make me laugh really much, Russia is our biggest Foe You funny, funny Man

    May 9, 2012 05:38 pm at 5:38 pm |
  10. Bill

    Give him time, he will flip or flop or twist or whatever he does.

    May 9, 2012 05:39 pm at 5:39 pm |
  11. Kris

    So Romney sticks to his guns and these are some peoples responses:

    Give him time, he will flip or flop or twist or whatever he does.

    if the GOP supported gay marriage, especially the far right wing, you could bet your bottom dollar Mitt would as well. It would be so funny that as close as this election is predicted to be, it would be the LGBT vote that would push Obama over the top. I would LOVE to see that happen.

    Willard, you really need to stop wearing dresses & be a man & tell the people of this great nation exactly what you stand for. Do you think that us American Respect a WEISEL that Runs & hides on EVERYTHING???/ MITT, LOSE THE DRESS!!!!!!!!

    Kind of hard to critisize someone for flip flopping when they just reiterated the position they have always had. That said Obama and his goons will twist this to make Romney look like a bigot. Ex:

    Spokesman Ben LaBolt tweeted: "@MittRomney just refused to say he supports hospital visitation rights at a federal level for gays and lesbians."

    That was totally the opposite of what he said. This is a non issue when the economy continues to struggle as it is.

    May 9, 2012 05:48 pm at 5:48 pm |
  12. gg

    talk about old and out dated

    May 9, 2012 05:51 pm at 5:51 pm |
  13. Gwats

    Romney screws it up again. I thought George
    W. Bush had left the building!

    May 9, 2012 05:54 pm at 5:54 pm |
  14. Lenny Pincus

    I've seen excellent conservative arguments made in favor of gay marriage. Too bad the crazy religionists get all the press.

    May 9, 2012 05:55 pm at 5:55 pm |
  15. neil

    So Willard you believe the state has the right to tell an individual who to love? Achtung baby!!

    May 9, 2012 05:55 pm at 5:55 pm |
  16. Ex-GOP Con

    Does Rich Money believe that Mormons should have the right to marry?

    May 9, 2012 05:55 pm at 5:55 pm |
  17. CBR

    Governor Romney has the right to his views as a private citizen. As President he would need to look at the whole picture. You cannot hide you head in the sand. You cannot fire someone because he happens to be a gay man. You cannot stop people from getting the same rights and privileges that others share. Civil unions must also mean that the partners receive the same privileges afforded to to same sex marriages. People in this country are all equal. Sorry if that offends some but we all pay our taxes, we all follow the same constitution, we all vote, we all have the right to our opinions but we cannot deny another person the same rights that we have.

    May 9, 2012 05:58 pm at 5:58 pm |
  18. PJ/TX

    "..I have the same view that I've had since running for office".
    So, what was your view before "running for office", and if it was the same, we have news here people.
    A first in something that MItt has not flipped on.

    May 9, 2012 06:01 pm at 6:01 pm |
  19. Ken in MD

    It may be the only view he hasn't changed...

    May 9, 2012 06:02 pm at 6:02 pm |
  20. NVa Native

    The opinion of the country has evolved dramatically over the past three years. Only the backward leaning cave-men like RoMoney think bigotry is acceptable. The GOPuppets are social dinosaurs headed for well earned political and social extinction.

    May 9, 2012 06:02 pm at 6:02 pm |
  21. Sniffit

    I find it odd that this comes from a man who is obviously a submissive bottom, what with all his rolling over and flip flopping.

    May 9, 2012 06:07 pm at 6:07 pm |
  22. Pander Bear

    He's right. His position hasn't changed. It was rudderless, unclear and indistinct before and it is rudderless, unclear and indistinct now.

    May 9, 2012 06:09 pm at 6:09 pm |
  23. 1twinsfan

    Will Romney's view change when poll numbers show more and more people saying gay marriage is okay? Hey, I don't like it but I know that's my problem - I have the narrow view. I'm sure people look at myself and my Hispanic hubby and think that's wrong. And it is wrong but not because I'm white and he's tan but more so because I'm decent and he's a jerk.
    Gay marriage – let everyone have the chance to be unhappy.

    May 9, 2012 06:13 pm at 6:13 pm |
  24. NotFooledByDistractions

    Of course romney is against marriage equality – the mormon church is virulently against it, romneys "charitable donations" largely go to the mormon church, the mormon church provided a large portion of the funding for the anti-gay marriage initiative, prop 8.

    It's not right to use religious beliefs to restrict anothers civil rights, but romney doesn't appear to have a problem with it. I just wonder, whose civil rights will be next?

    May 9, 2012 06:14 pm at 6:14 pm |
  25. Dave

    With 70% of Americans favoring equality, we can now kiss Robmey goodbye.

    May 9, 2012 06:14 pm at 6:14 pm |
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