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Mitt Romney: voters know best on civil rights issues

“To silence the voice of the people on a question of such great consequence would be a profound injustice.”
— Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney, clearly with his state’s priorities straight

Considering the events of today that really matter — like the aftermath of the hurricane, this kind of wingnuttery seems petty and stupid.

What moron believes that civil rights should be left up to the majority to convey to a minority through a vote? Mitt Romney obviously does. If that were the case, slavery wouldn’t have ended and women wouldn’t have the right to vote. Mitt the Sh*t has asked Attorney General Thomas Reilly to put up a 2008 ballot initiative on banning same-sex marriage. How did this man get elected? He seems so out of touch it’s mind-boggling.

“No matter how one feels about same-sex marriage, we should all agree that the Commonwealth’s citizens should not be excluded from a decision as fundamental to society as the legal definition of marriage,” Romney wrote.

Romney’s letter seeks to refute legal arguments by gay-marriage supporters that Reilly should not certify the proposed initiative because it violates a section of the state constitution governing citizen-generated ballot questions. Reilly must certify the initiative before its backers can attempt to collect the 66,000 signatures needed to put it on the ballot.

On a separate track, state lawmakers are expected to consider a proposed 2006 ballot initiative on Sept. 14 that would ban gay marriage but allow civil unions. Because that proposal originated in the Legislature, which granted preliminary approval to it last year, it is governed by different rules.

Romney predicted yesterday that the Legislature’s amendment would be defeated next month, because gay-marriage supporters and opponents of civil unions are now against it. Therefore, he argued, the citizen-generated initiative aimed at 2008 represents the public’s only opportunity to exercise its will.

“The sole realistic opportunity for citizens to decide the definition of marriage is being decided by Reilly first,” Romney said. “If he closes off this ballot initiative, he will be saying that Reilly knows best. And in my view, the citizens know best.”

Reilly, who must act on the 2008 initiative by Sept. 7, is in a thorny political situation: His competitor for the Democratic gubernatorial nomination, Deval L. Patrick, is an outspoken supporter of gay marriage, while the attorney general’s own record on the issue is more complicated. Reilly, who had opposed same-sex marriage, said earlier this year that he accepts the Supreme Judicial Court’s November 2003 decision legalizing gay marriage.

…Supporters of the 2008 initiative said they crafted it carefully to pass constitutional muster. For example, although they would prefer that existing gay marriages be annulled, the proposal avoids doing that in order to skirt possible constitutional problems. That means it would keep intact the roughly 6,500 gay marriages that have already taken place and those that take place before 2008.

What kind of mess is that going to create? They need to just give it up. Same-sex marriage is not going away.

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Pam Spaulding

Pam Spaulding