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. BJJSchecter

    Have no fear fellow citizens. I will forever remain in 1812,

    May 10, 2012 01:21 am at 1:21 am |
  2. Terry

    Romney has my respect.
    Obama has lost my respect, once again.

    May 10, 2012 01:30 am at 1:30 am |
  3. Josh

    Oh he was talking about his views not changing on gay marriage. That makes more sense because I figured if he said his views as a whole haven't changed over time he'd have been struck by lightning.

    May 10, 2012 01:55 am at 1:55 am |
  4. John

    Of course his views haven't changed. He's a republican, nothing about those people has changed since about 1950.

    May 10, 2012 02:09 am at 2:09 am |
  5. Joseph Smith

    Mitt will be on the bandwagon soon as soon as he figures he can get some votes from this. What a loser.

    May 10, 2012 02:37 am at 2:37 am |
  6. Sheila

    I don't know how this will play out for the election, but I am thrilled the President understands marriage equality. Romney only understands whatever his handlers tell him to. I will never understand why more loving and legally committed couples (note: 2 adults) are not viewed as a positive for all these supposedly "christian" people. Remember, "treat others the way you want to be treated." History will be on Obama's side.

    May 10, 2012 02:40 am at 2:40 am |
  7. p

    There goes President Obama again. Changing the world!
    What a great president!
    God bless him.

    May 10, 2012 02:45 am at 2:45 am |
  8. Paul

    Marraige rights are the right of personal liberty and the pursuit of happiness. Go ahead and vote it up or down congress. Vote for or againist liberty; but do show the people who elected you; your views on other peoples liberty.

    May 10, 2012 02:50 am at 2:50 am |
  9. Consequence

    I would say Romney's views on gay marriage are much closer to Abraham Lincoln's, FDR's, JFK's, MLK's, Gandhi's and all the other people Obama used to compare himself to. Now he joins those who accuse all those who disagree with him as being "haters" and "bigots"...the ultimate trip for a narcissist.

    May 10, 2012 02:52 am at 2:52 am |
  10. Suzanne Morris

    I have been a Republican for years now, but I've had just about all I can take with Romney..Obama here I come!!

    May 10, 2012 03:08 am at 3:08 am |
  11. krehator

    Of course they do not change. That is what happens when your party tells you what to say and support. Also when YOU think you know better than the people you are asking for a job.

    Another Dictator in the making.....

    May 10, 2012 04:26 am at 4:26 am |
  12. W.G.

    Romney is right , his veiws have´nt changed , he´s still as hypocritical as ever . He had a gay spokesman just
    quit due to pressure from conservativce christians . He wasn´t fired by Romney who´s office stated they
    reghretted losing him and his talents . Conservatzive Christians are rallying around a man who believes
    his god (Not the One True GOD) came from the planet "Kohlen" and that we have Africans on earth because they
    would not fight for Jesus on planet Kohlen when ( get this ) Jesus´s brother lucifer and him were fighting for
    who would rule Earth . In my opinion Republican christians hate Mr. Obama more than they love Jesus .

    May 10, 2012 04:27 am at 4:27 am |
  13. sharkrider

    Hats off to Sir in your stand and for the sake of God don't give the next term to President Obama otherwise he will use the term to legalise the bill which give rights for humans to marry animals as they like......

    May 10, 2012 04:29 am at 4:29 am |
  14. Roger Ogilvy Thornhill

    As much as I don't want RMoney for President, I want people who knock him for his religion even less. Stop that. It's bigoted, annoying, and it's getting old.

    May 10, 2012 04:33 am at 4:33 am |
  15. Mitt Flop

    He was a supporter of civil unions in Massachusetts, and has flip-flopped on this issue several times.

    He fired a gay aid, but then said it was 'not his choice'. Whose choice was it?

    One thing is perfectly consistent for Mitt Romney...He is a liar who will say anything to get ahead.

    Gingrich: 'Mitt is a liar'.
    Santorum: 'Obama may be better'.
    Foxnews anchors: 'This man has no core'.

    Watch Mitt v. Mitt to see him make a fool of himself...

    May 10, 2012 04:41 am at 4:41 am |
  16. Shane

    Probably the only thing he will never change his view on, but then again if he is a pathological liar there is no telling what he will do.

    May 10, 2012 04:56 am at 4:56 am |
  17. Mel4ALL

    I will NEVER vote for OBAMA after this 'support for gay marriage' stance change. I voted for him in 2008. But I already made up my mind that in 2012 I am NOT voting for OBAMA. The union between a man and a woman deserves a lot more respect and support from our president. Romney has an appropriate stance on the matter, supporting civil union benefits but not in the same way as a marriage which is solely for a man and a woman.

    May 10, 2012 05:05 am at 5:05 am |
  18. census

    I'm so surprise dat PS. OBAMA can be in support of dis,may be he also belong bt i rebuke it in d MIGHTY name of JESUS CHRIST (amen).

    May 10, 2012 05:05 am at 5:05 am |
  19. Dennis

    Way to take a stand for hate.

    May 10, 2012 05:32 am at 5:32 am |
  20. whitmanguy

    Romney stands firm. As his advisers and pollsters have told him to do. On this issue.

    May 10, 2012 05:45 am at 5:45 am |
  21. steve

    This issue is used to divide us. Soooo many more important issues to confront and we pander to this kind of drivel. If we want to be told how to live we can go to Afghanistan and let the Taliban control our morals, we do not need it in the land of the free, the good old USA.

    May 10, 2012 05:46 am at 5:46 am |
  22. Nick

    Disappointing. As a conservative, I see the GOP leaning further and further into religion as its platform – and its not a good thing. Not in the slightest.

    May 10, 2012 05:53 am at 5:53 am |
  23. an84u

    Of course sweet Mittens is for man/woman marriage..or man/WOMEN Mormonite marriage, we should possibly say. I think old Bigham Young had 56 wives, more or less. There's a long string of them lying buried beside him in SLC. These narrow, mean-spirited rePUKES are not only on the wrong side of history, but can gag a maggot in real time. Let's call a spade a spade. They imperil our nation and seek to destroy democratic government in toto. BEWARE !!

    May 10, 2012 06:15 am at 6:15 am |
  24. Greg

    Bigotry - it's the only position he hasn't changed. How proud he must be. History will judge him like George Wallace and Bull Connor.

    May 10, 2012 06:26 am at 6:26 am |
  25. Gary

    Romney says his views haven't changed since he's been running for office. So did he believe something else before he started running for office?

    May 10, 2012 06:29 am at 6:29 am |
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