May 9th, 2012
05:26 PM ET
2 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."

Also see:

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Filed under: Mitt Romney • Same-sex marriage
soundoff (129 Responses)
  1. Namejkane fl live from teapublican moon base no taxes, no regulation no health care, free gas.

    The four time loser , mass gov, loss. Mass senate loss, republican president primary loss to mccain ,loss to Obama in Nov . Maybe you can be moron in chief of republicans in 2016 and go for five loses .

    May 9, 2012 07:45 pm at 7:45 pm |
  2. Namejkane fl live from teapublican moon base no taxes, no regulation no health care, free gas.

    The sun hasn't gone down yet so he could still flip flop, and I saved the auto industy, really , really, really!

    May 9, 2012 07:51 pm at 7:51 pm |
  3. Sydnium S. Adolsen

    And that's why ousting and outwitting Obama makes this election so down low to the polls. So is his job in the WH, More disapproved of his works. Let's make the 1949 election repeat itself this year.

    May 9, 2012 08:12 pm at 8:12 pm |
  4. Will

    Yet another flip-flop by Obama.

    May 9, 2012 08:20 pm at 8:20 pm |
  5. GeminiGirl

    It's pretty IRONIC that the ONLY thing Mr. Flip Flopper hasn't flipped on is same-sex marriage! Too funny! Of course, if there happened to be a great majority of people who agreed on same-sex marriage, then you know the Etch-a-Sketch guy would change his mind! He has no core values, no center, he is like a roof-top wind-mill, like Jon Huntsmann correctly called him. I sincerely can't imagine him as President! The fact that he is even remotely being considered makes me wonder about the sanity of the American voter.

    May 9, 2012 08:52 pm at 8:52 pm |
  6. Michael B

    The government should just stop calling anything marriage, they should call every single union between any two people a Legalized Union Recognized by the Government. A LURG. Churches can marry people and the government will take that information and those people will be considered to have a LURG. Gay people can become united and the government will take that as a LURG. Every legal document can change so that it doesn't say marriage at all.

    Just don't call gay people getting united in love Marriage since marriage is a church thing and the government and church should be separate.

    May 9, 2012 09:08 pm at 9:08 pm |
  7. Are you kidding me?

    Romney truly has no idea what he is talking about because he got his script from the Koch brothers and big oil. If you sit down and do the math the price was not jacked up because of supply issues it was due to market speculators and corporate greed. Big oil is highly profitable and we certainly do not see them as hurting for business.

    If the economy was so bad why do I see record amounts of money going to GOP candidates?????!!!

    May 9, 2012 09:14 pm at 9:14 pm |
  8. babs

    Obama = Profile in Courage; R. Money = Gutless.

    May 9, 2012 09:14 pm at 9:14 pm |
  9. Are you kidding me?

    This is a non-story because it is a bunch of crap. I just do not trust the words coming out of his mouth and I am a member of the party.

    I call it like I see it. One pipeline will not solve the issue.

    May 9, 2012 09:16 pm at 9:16 pm |
  10. Marie MD

    @bendforward – even if the President had handed him the election, which he hasn't, the sociobishop wouldn't know what to do with it until his keepers, the koch bros, norquist and faux news tell him what to do.
    This election is more than about human rights. It's all about an ex governor who can't remember what he believed in a few years ago because he has changed his mind so many times about anything that he ever believed in that all he has left is that wife of his trying to pretend she can get close to what Michelle Obama is as a First Lady and as a woman.

    May 9, 2012 09:24 pm at 9:24 pm |
  11. helenecha

    As for same-sex marriage, there're no words better than the answer from putting the issue to a referendum State by State.

    May 9, 2012 09:27 pm at 9:27 pm |
  12. Joe from CT, not Lieberman

    I thought he was in favor of Gay Unions from when he was Governor of Massachusetts. When did he change this one?

    May 9, 2012 09:29 pm at 9:29 pm |
  13. Danesh

    I don't support gays not to say they aren't nice but what they are going as gays is not right. So I don't know why Obama as a president of America support something like this.

    May 9, 2012 09:48 pm at 9:48 pm |
  14. Corey

    LOL at least he's consistent. Oh, wait....

    May 9, 2012 10:28 pm at 10:28 pm |
  15. MP in VA

    Newsbreak: This just in–Romney does NOT flip-flop on an issue!

    May 9, 2012 10:45 pm at 10:45 pm |
  16. MGFY

    His views don't have to change...he has 360 degree vision. What is it you want to hear? That's what he believes.

    May 9, 2012 10:49 pm at 10:49 pm |
  17. Socrates

    Romney does not support gay marriage...today.

    May 9, 2012 11:03 pm at 11:03 pm |
  18. tashar

    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"?

    ^ Mitt Romney believes in outsourcing jobs and letting Detroit go bankrupt. It raised gas taxes in Massachusetts too.

    How can Mitt Romney help anyone with any of these things?

    May 9, 2012 11:07 pm at 11:07 pm |
  19. Mike Jones

    Well at least Mitt Romney hasn't changed his views on something I suppose. Hope he gets trounced in the November election, lying, pandering, phony piece of garbage that he is.

    May 9, 2012 11:16 pm at 11:16 pm |
  20. Steven Colo

    Once Obama made his position clear, Romney instantly took the other side. Leadership in action. If Romney wins, he's going to need to call Obama and ask what he would do – he won't be able to formulate policy without knowing what position to counter.

    May 9, 2012 11:30 pm at 11:30 pm |
  21. DORIS ESTABROOKS

    obama, i voted for you last time, but you lost my now. read your Bible, marrriage os betweem a man and woman, not same sex!!!

    May 9, 2012 11:31 pm at 11:31 pm |
  22. demrules

    Now, we've been listening to this guy for – how long? He has yet to say something or offer up any comments with insight and conviction. I know his LDS convictions give him pause to say what his stance is on this matter, but he cannot go any further. If he is going to stand on the LDS conviction, at least give us some scripture to back up his beliefs. Rick Santorum has waited this long to give a late night email endorsement, and this is probably to only thing the two of them have in common. There is no substantive resolve to any of his criticisms against President Obama, just piggy back ramblings about what the president has said and how he does not agree.

    May 10, 2012 12:19 am at 12:19 am |
  23. Terry

    Obama has definitely lost my vote. Romney has earned mine.

    May 10, 2012 12:22 am at 12:22 am |
  24. bam

    GOP is party of "no hope just shame" from Va-gi-nal Pro-bes to Equal rights for all

    May 10, 2012 12:30 am at 12:30 am |
  25. Dan

    Sounds like an Obama Flip Flop.. The media will celebrate this. When Romney has an "evolved moment" 30 years ago he is villified. I hope that this issue does not detract from the main issues at hand. We need a united country where we are all Americans, not black, white, rich, poor, gay, or straight. We are all in this together, we all need jobs and some common sense economics. Mitt is a proven performer... no other candidate is. Let's get our budget under control (first we need one) The dems have failed to even produce one for three years running. Unite the country, quit the class and race and gender war. This would be good for all Americans.

    May 10, 2012 12:32 am at 12:32 am |
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