August 30th, 2007
06:00 PM ET
15 years ago

Romney: Iowa ruling 'against the will of the people'

Mitt Romney in 2004 at a press conference regarding same-sex marriage in Massachusetts

DES MOINES, Iowa (CNN) - Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney, who faced the issue as governor of Massachusetts, criticized an Iowa district court ruling Thursday that said same-sex couples have the right to marry.

A judge in Polk County, Iowa, said gay couples must be allowed to get married because of the state constitution's guarantee of equal treatment.  The judge also struck a state law that banned same-sex marriages and said valid marriage is only between a male and a female.  The ruling came in response to a lawsuit by six gay couples seeking permission to marry, and will now go to the Iowa Supreme Court.

Romney, leading in the Iowa polls after courting conservative support, was the first candidate to react to the decision.  In a statement, he said, "The ruling is Iowa today is another example of an activist court and unelected judges trying to define marriage and disregard the will of the people as expressed through Iowa's Defense of Marriage Act.  This once again highlights the need for a Federal Marriage Amendment to protect the traditional definition of marriage as between one man and one woman."

Romney, who was governor when the Massachusetts Supreme Court ruled in favor of same-sex marriages in 2004, did approve certificates allowing gay couples to marry.  But he worked with other opponents in an effort to overturn the state law, and has pushed for a national ban.

–CNN Political Desk Managing Editor Steve Brusk

Filed under: Iowa • Mitt Romney • Same-sex marriage
soundoff (104 Responses)
  1. Claude, Mesa AZ

    Wow! What is this country coming to? It's Sodom and Gomorrah all over again. Time is obviously growing nigh and God will destroy this and other wickedness. Mitt, I am so glad you have taken the correct stand.

    August 30, 2007 09:17 pm at 9:17 pm |
  2. Stephen, Charlottesville, VA

    An elected official choosing to stay in Iraq even though it's supposedly against the will of the people...fine by Romney. An unelected official choosing to make a decision supposedly against the will of the people...not fine by Romney. I guess only elected officials aren't responsible for upholding the will of the people.

    August 30, 2007 09:18 pm at 9:18 pm |
  3. Ed,Ellenville,New York

    When's Romney's "I am not gay" moment coming?

    August 30, 2007 09:21 pm at 9:21 pm |
  4. Ian

    "Ruling against the will of the people"? Only the bigots. Are you saying you are in favor of bigotry, Governor?

    August 30, 2007 09:25 pm at 9:25 pm |
  5. John, Denver CO

    Tell me Mr. Romney how a same sex couple getting married will effect you at all? I have been to countless same sex marriages, so banning it won't keep couples from getting married

    August 30, 2007 09:39 pm at 9:39 pm |
  6. Myron, Honolulu, Hi

    Now that they have same sex marriage pretty soon they are going to want same sex divorce.

    Same Sex Divorce will that be constitutional too? Are we going to have a National Debate about that too?

    August 30, 2007 09:43 pm at 9:43 pm |
  7. Relieved

    Finally, equality in America without others imposing their biases.

    August 30, 2007 09:45 pm at 9:45 pm |
  8. Michael Lemaster, Baltimore, MD

    Ruling against which people, Romney? Conservatives? Republicans? Those too nosy to keep their business to themselves? I don't see how it is "the people's" business if two gay people can get married. We give way too much clout to the conservative majority in this country. Wait... what am I thinking? I guess I should love having my life affected daily by the decision of the people. Great people they are, too. Right?

    August 30, 2007 10:08 pm at 10:08 pm |
  9. James, New Haven

    Yes Romney, Yes!!!

    Finally, a politician who has the will and proactivity to oppose this part of our society which is pandering to the small minority while the majority of the population is fully against such measures.

    Why should the gay population (5% of the entire population) be controlling the laws governing the other 95% of the populace?

    August 30, 2007 10:15 pm at 10:15 pm |
  10. Anonymous

    Funny. Mitt Romney only comes here to win votes and stump for himself. . .somehow I don't weigh his statement that this is "against the will of the people" very highly. Y'know, seeing as how I live in Iowa, and I'm pro Marriage Equality.

    August 30, 2007 10:29 pm at 10:29 pm |
  11. Sam Neil, New York, New York

    Republicans have done almost nothing to ban gay marriage on the federal level. Romney is a flip-flopper and so is the newly "anti-gay rights" Rudy Guliani. Both have supported gay rights. Do not believe that Republicans will ban gay marriage or that they use it as more than just a campaign issue to court religious. This Christian will not vote Republicans as they promote death in Iraq instead of feeding the poor.

    August 30, 2007 11:22 pm at 11:22 pm |
  12. Jeff Spangler, Arlington, VA

    Would someone in the press corps ask Mitt specifically why the "equal protection under the law" guarantees in state and federal constitutions are _not_ dispositive of this issue, without reference to religious doctrine?

    August 30, 2007 11:24 pm at 11:24 pm |
  13. PD, Iowa City IA

    Absurd commentary by Romney. Members of all branches of state government are required to uphold the state constitution (they take oaths). Courts have an obligation to strike laws that violate the state constitution. The judge is just doing his job - he would not have to be so "active" if the legislature had not violated the state constitution by passing it.

    August 31, 2007 12:07 am at 12:07 am |
  14. Mrs. America

    Sounds like Romney and Craig made a perfect match; they're both hypocrites. Too bad they broke off relations.

    August 31, 2007 12:22 am at 12:22 am |
  15. Jason, LA, CA

    Romney is a fool. The court isn't writing new laws, it is protecting the laws already in place in the constitution of Iowa and the United States. These constitutions prevent discrimination of individuals. Just because the majority voted and decided on a law doesn't make the law just. Our government was founded on the principle of protecting the minority rights. You can't vote away one groups rights.

    August 31, 2007 12:58 am at 12:58 am |
  16. Shawnie - Grants Pass, OR

    This is a handsome man, yet you continually find the worst mug shots possible.

    August 31, 2007 12:58 am at 12:58 am |
  17. Joe, York, PA

    Ah, good ol' flip-floppin' Mitt. Why can't you people who support him see beyond his blatent pandering? He's switched positions since my car had its last oil change.

    August 31, 2007 01:06 am at 1:06 am |
  18. Mike L., Essex Junction, Vermont

    Even if Romney is right, and gay rights are against the will of the people, it is irrelevant in our government. We have majority rule, but it is tempered by respecting minority rights. That is all that keeps a democracy from descending into mob rule.

    The majority may not merely decide to grant or deny the minority's rights- their rights are self-evident. Our government has the has the right to defend minority groups from the angry masses.

    August 31, 2007 01:08 am at 1:08 am |
  19. David, Salinas, CA

    “All citizens deserve equal rights, regardless of their sexual preference.”

    Mitt Romney 2002 Massachusetts Gay Pride Weekend Poster

    August 31, 2007 01:42 am at 1:42 am |
  20. John, Georgia

    He's just appealing to the conservative base and making a fool of himself. His comments mean nothing to me other than prove what I already know: that he is a flip-flopping presidential candidate like John Kerry was. Must be something in the water in Massachusetts. Just appealing to whatever is most popularly accepted at that minute, only to change the next minute when the "people" change their views. Why don't you come up with your own views and stick to them?

    August 31, 2007 01:42 am at 1:42 am |
  21. AJ, Bend, OR

    YES James of New Haven I think you are onto something. Another thing we should think about, Why do we let the Native Americans which are only 1.5% of the population make laws that affect and govern the land. I mean we do control the 98.5% left over. In fact since that population is so small why don't we re-introduce the Dawes Act. Then we can move on to the other races and religions and in no time we will have a country that rules solely upon the views of the Straight White Christian Man and his humble subservient wife. You really are onto something there!

    See his comment below!

    Yes Romney, Yes!!!

    Finally, a politician who has the will and proactivity to oppose this part of our society which is pandering to the small minority while the majority of the population is fully against such measures.

    Why should the gay population (5% of the entire population) be controlling the laws governing the other 95% of the populace?
    Posted By James, New Haven : August 30, 2007 10:15 pm

    August 31, 2007 06:19 am at 6:19 am |
  22. Harry Turner CA

    Romney's family values are perverted: they deny some adopted children the societal benefit of married parents.

    August 31, 2007 06:22 am at 6:22 am |
  23. Johnny Shouts

    The citizens of Iowa should end this nonsense of immoral judges proclaiming ridiculous rulings by swarming that court house and physically yanking that idiot off the bench.

    August 31, 2007 06:28 am at 6:28 am |
  24. Randall- Raleigh, N.C.

    Lets get this right! Same sex couples want to marry and be faithful to eachother.

    Married Senator cruising a restroom for sex. Senator coming onto pages.


    Judge not unless ye be judged.

    August 31, 2007 06:33 am at 6:33 am |
  25. Tomislav, Pittsburgh, PA

    Mitt, Mitt, Mitt...Sigh. When will these politicians learn, I ask you, when?? Apparently, there is no greater evil in the United States of America than banning gay marriage. Hunger? Nah. Homelessness? Nah. The Healthcare system? Nah. Bush and Cheney? Heck no!! We must deny gay marriage to keep our morals high. Whatever. I'm married, a father, a Catholic, think that gay marriage is fine, and I have no internal conflict trying to resolve my religious choice with any social choices I believe in. There are larger problems to deal with in the U.S.A. than gay marriage...put it on the back-burner where it belongs and try to answer some harder questions from the majority of Americans instead of pandering to the ultra-right wing minority.

    August 31, 2007 06:52 am at 6:52 am |
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