May 9th, 2012
05:26 PM ET
11 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. PC

    Thank you, Mr. Romney. I couldn't have said it better.

    May 9, 2012 06:16 pm at 6:16 pm |
  2. Tim

    I'm sure Mitt is a genuinely good guy in real life. Probably a great friend, father, neighbor, etc. But he is as much a pawn of the RNC as Republicans believe Obama is. It's the reason Romney and not Ron Paul will win the nomination. They know Romeny will play ball.

    May 9, 2012 06:17 pm at 6:17 pm |
  3. Maxx

    Another lie from the dishonest ceo. When he ran for senator he was "to the left of Ted Kennedy on gay rights" and favored civil unions. Now, not so much.

    May 9, 2012 06:17 pm at 6:17 pm |
  4. Rajiv Shaw

    Changed as compared to what. His views have changed so many times, we should nickname him "Spinning" Romney.

    May 9, 2012 06:20 pm at 6:20 pm |
  5. Woman In California

    "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."

    Which is Willard? I'm for it until the president is against it or I'm against it until the president is for it?

    May 9, 2012 06:28 pm at 6:28 pm |
  6. Former Republican, now an Independent

    Romney will go with any dog that will hunt. If the election hinged on him endorsing gay marriage, he would swing back to his liberal stances from his days as Governor of Mass.

    May 9, 2012 06:28 pm at 6:28 pm |
  7. the Situation

    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 |

    Yeah, like Mr. Flip Flopper comments, "I'm responsible in saving the auto industry!" This guy is a pathetic liar!

    May 9, 2012 06:38 pm at 6:38 pm |
  8. Mazzata

    Whatever works for ya, Mitt.Too bad you're not one of those you revile. If overpopulation in this world is choking us, you're three over the limit. Oh, I forgot, you can AFFORD it...

    May 9, 2012 06:39 pm at 6:39 pm |
  9. dagoberto

    Just give him some few months to flip-flop

    May 9, 2012 06:40 pm at 6:40 pm |
  10. Wake up people

    Wow, for the first time this election cycle you didn't flip flop. Give the man a hand ladies and gentleman.

    OBAMA 2012!

    May 9, 2012 06:42 pm at 6:42 pm |
  11. Under the big top

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

    He also refused to say that he supports drinking white wine with steak. He's not going to say a lot of things, especially when you try to put words in his mouth.

    So what's your point LaBolt? ... other than the one hiding under your hat...

    May 9, 2012 06:44 pm at 6:44 pm |
  12. American

    Romney is sadly lying again...

    Mitt once claimed he would be to the left of Ted Kennedy on gay issues. Then, Romney flip-flopped & signed a pledge with Michelle Bachmann to push for discrimination in our US Constituition against the LGBT community.

    Not to mention, Romney did not have the courage, nor principle, to stand up for Grenell when his discriminatory base was pushing him out just for being gay.

    May 9, 2012 06:47 pm at 6:47 pm |
  13. Tim

    Translation: I haven't had time yet to etch a new sketch. I will commission a poll first to see what I should say to maximize political advantage.

    May 9, 2012 06:51 pm at 6:51 pm |
  14. Rodger

    Typical politician. Whether it be democratic, repubilican, obama or romney. They all change their 'views' just to influence voters. It's never about what we as a people believe in any more. Seems like we're more focused on what these politicians view do to remain politically correct–on everything.

    May 9, 2012 06:56 pm at 6:56 pm |
  15. FL

    Romney is not telling the truth. He went from supposedly being to the left of Sen. Kennedy on gay rights to signing a NOM pledge with Bachmann and Santorum. Another flip-flop.

    May 9, 2012 07:00 pm at 7:00 pm |
  16. Al-NY,NY

    since you don't have a view (at least one you'll stick to for more than 5 minutes), why should we be surprised by this statement?

    May 9, 2012 07:02 pm at 7:02 pm |
  17. Lynda/Minnesota


    Your opinion was duly noted, and I responded accordingly. With all due respect, I offered you no personal offense in my reply.

    Peace to you in your new party affiliation.

    May 9, 2012 07:05 pm at 7:05 pm |
  18. Sanford

    Romney NOT changing his mind. Well, that's good but it's a rare thing for him. He's flipped on so many other things and gone with the wind, it's good to know there are somethings on which he will stand, even if I don't agree with him on this one.

    May 9, 2012 07:17 pm at 7:17 pm |
  19. a disgrace

    america has one answer for all of obama's lies...FOOL ME ONCE SHAME ON ME!

    May 9, 2012 07:19 pm at 7:19 pm |
  20. Little Tin God

    Romney's opinion(s) haven't changed in what? The last 6 hours? Wouldn't that be a record for Romney maintaining an opinion?

    May 9, 2012 07:23 pm at 7:23 pm |
  21. Little Tin God

    If marriage is defined as between A man and A woman, then isn't divorce illegal? Doesn't A indicate singular?

    May 9, 2012 07:24 pm at 7:24 pm |
  22. jimmy

    Obama just made the biggest political mistake in history.No matter how the liberal media trys to play this as positive for Obama he just lost his re election bid.

    May 9, 2012 07:27 pm at 7:27 pm |
  23. stephanie

    romoney to the gay community
    Back then Mr. Romney also promised the fight for quote, "Full equality for America's gay and lesbian citizens." That is from the letter to law cabinet Republican, quote, "I'm with you on this stuff," he wrote. "I'll be better than Ted Kennedy."
    so tell us again your position hasn't changed.....

    May 9, 2012 07:27 pm at 7:27 pm |
  24. scott

    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.
    Bev you really need to get informed, your comment is way off. The Mormons quit practicing multiply marriages years ago. Stop showing off you basic lack of knowledge.

    May 9, 2012 07:29 pm at 7:29 pm |
  25. Barnum Bailey

    his views haven't changed ... since yesterday lol

    that being said, it's a sad state of affairs when people changing their views is seen as a negative...most healthy people actually do change their minds from time to time ... maybe not as quickly and routinely as Romney though lol

    May 9, 2012 07:35 pm at 7:35 pm |
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