Timeline Documents Romney's Role in Creating Same-Sex "Marriages"
POSTED: Nov. 23, 2006
Compiled by Amy Contrada
[NOTE: This timeline is greatly expanded in Amy Contrada's book Mitt Romney's Deception, published in July 2011. See detail here and video preview here.]
I. Mitt Romney demonstrates his commitment to homosexual "rights" before becoming Governor of Massachusetts in January 2003:
- 1994 Campaign vs. Ted Kennedy for U.S. Senate: Romney pledged he “will provide more effective leadership” than Kennedy on homosexual rights; endorsed by Log Cabin Republicans.
- 2000-2002: As head of Salt Lake City Olympic Committee, Romney banned Boy Scouts from participating.
- 2001 Called first citizens' petition to define marriage “too extreme” and “bigoted” because it banned civil unions.
- 2002 Campaign for Governor: Romney makes promises to GLBT community, according to leading Boston homosexual newspaper; endorsed by homosexual activist Log Cabin Republicans.
II. Nov. 18, 2003 Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court (SJC) rules that same-sex marriage is protected in the Mass. Constitution, and gives the Legislature 180 days to act (“Goodridge” ruling).
- Nov. 18, 2003 Romney responds to SJC ruling with four-sentence statement implicitly recognizing SJC’s authority, says only remedy will be a constitutional amendment: “I disagree with the Supreme Judicial Court. Marriage is an institution between a man and a woman. I will support an amendment to the Massachusetts Constitution to make that expressly clear. Of course, we must provide basic civil rights and appropriate benefits to nontraditional couples, but marriage is a special institution that should be reserved for a man and a woman.”
- Nov.-Dec. 2003 Romney reportedly working with Legislators promoting “civil unions”.
- Jan. 2004 Romney silent on proposal to remove four SJC justices through Bill of Address (put forward by Article 8 Alliance / MassResistance).
- Feb. 4, 2004 SJC tells Legislature that civil unions for same-sex couples will not satisfy its interpretation of the Mass. Constitution; only full-fledged marriage will do.
- Feb. 5, 2004 Romney publishes editorial in Wall Street Journal laying all blame on the SJC for problem in Massachusetts. Suggests other states strengthen marriage statutes and pass constitutional amendments. Says don’t “attack … gays, singles or non-traditional couples.”
- Feb. 2004 Justices of the Peace are told by their professional association they will be able to claim “conscientious objector” status and refuse to perform same-sex marriages -- though this was never agreed to by Romney administration.
- Feb.-May 2004 Pro-family leaders and columnists urge Romney to defy court, and issue Executive Order to block same-sex marriage; no public comment from Romney.
- March 12, 2004 As Legislature postures on constitutional amendments, Romney continues to say amendment to Mass. Constitution is solution.
- March 26, 2004 Word leaks out that Romney’s Dept. of Public Health (DPH) and attorneys are planning training sessions for Town Clerks and preparing same-sex marriage licenses.
- March 29, 2004 Romney tells Republicans in Mass. legislature to vote for Travaglini-Lees “compromise amendment” which would ban same-sex marriage but establish civil unions (and would not go to voters before Nov. 2006). Republican legislators had earlier opposed this amendment because of the civil unions clause, and it passed only due to their changed votes.
- March 29-31, 2004 Romney seeks stay of SJC ruling until constitutional amendment issue is settled, but Atty. General Reilly refuses to take Governor’s case before SJC. [Did Romney believe that same court that issued Goodridge ruling would seriously consider his request for a stay?]
- March 30, 2004 Romney says he’ll “abide by the law of the land as it exists on May 17” and says he would not order town clerks to defy court edict. Romney says he’d not explored the Constitution section giving him power over “causes of marriage” and whether it gives him any legal power to stop same-sex marriage (according to spokesman).
- April 12, 2004 Romney spokesman says training sessions for town clerks will begin “with plenty of room to spare before May 17.” Ron Crews of Mass. Coalition for Marriage states hope for an Executive Order to halt the marriages.
- April 15, 2004 Romney files emergency bill in Legislature to seek stay of SJC ruling, and is rebuffed and reprimanded by Senate President Travaglini.
- April 15, 2004 Romney’s DPH Registrar of Vital Records informs town clerks by letter of training sessions before SJC ruling becomes effective.
- April 16, 2004 Romney announces his administration is scheduling training sessions for May 5-12 with licenses changed from “husband/wife” to “Party A/Party B”.
- April 17, 2004 Mass. Dept. of Revenue (under Romney) declares SJC ruling the new “law”.
- April 22, 2004 Romney does not comment on Rep. Goguen's filing of Bill of Address for Article 8 Alliance/MassResistance to remove the 4 SJC judges, or Article 8’s revelation of Chief Justice Marshall’s violations of the Code of Judicial Conduct. (Marshall had appeared as keynote speaker at homosexual advocacy group dinner in 1999 advocated extension of “rights” for homosexuals, and failed to recuse herself from ruling on same-sex marriage though she had publicly expressed her bias.)
- April 26, 2004 Romney’s chief Legal Counsel, Daniel Winslow, issues directive to Justices of the Peace to resign (or be fired, fined, or sued) if they are unwilling to perform same-sex marriages (exact date not given on document).
- April 29, 2004 Romney writes to 49 other Governors to inform them he’ll uphold section of Mass. marriage statutes banning same-sex marriages for out-of-state couples.
- May 5-12, 2004 Town clerk training sessions held. [GLAD – Gay & Lesbian Advocates & Defenders -- is only source on content of sessions; perhaps they were responsible for content?]
- May 15, 2004 Romney issues proclamation: May 15 is “Gay/Straight Youth Pride Day”. Romney’s “Governor’s Commission on Gay and Lesbian Youth” events include parade, GLBT activism (with prominent transsexual radical activists), and a GLBT prom – two days before same-sex marriages are to begin.
- May 17, 2004 Same-sex marriages begin across Massachusetts. Romney issues brief statement: “All along, I have said an issue as fundamental to society as the definition of marriage should be decided by the people. Until then, I intend to follow the law and expect others to do the same.” [What law? Original marriage statutes clearly defining marriage as between a man and a woman were –and are -- still on the books, unchanged by the Legislature. So Romney is not enforcing the actual law—just a court opinion.]
- May 18, 2004 Romney begins enforcement of section of marriage statute banning out-of-state couples marrying in Mass. if that marriage would be illegal in their home state, while other intact sections of the marriage statute (“man” and “woman”) are ignored.
- June 22, 2004 Romney testifies before US Senate Judiciary Committee for federal marriage amendment and blames Court for situation in Massachusetts.
- Oct. 29, 2004 Romney signs new law eliminating blood test for STDs as requirement for marriage license (Ch. 388 of Acts of 2004). [Note: this is the only part of marriage statutes changed to satisfy demands of same-sex marriage]
- Dec. 2004 Romney has no comment on bills filed by Article 8 Alliance / MassResistance for 2005-6 session: to remove four SJC judges; strengthen definition of marriage in statute; and declare same-sex marriages since May 17, 2004 null/void and without statutory basis.
- Feb. 21, 2005 Romney makes speech before South Carolina Republicans, then is accused of “flip-flopping” on civil unions by homosexual lobby. Romney also negatively refers to demands by the homosexual activists that birth certificates be changed to read “Parent A/Parent B” (instead of “father/mother”), arguing he had no authority to make such a change [though he had no such qualms about changing the marriage license].
- June 16, 2005 Romney joins VoteOnMarriage (VOM) amendment effort, which would recognize same-sex marriages prior to amendment taking effect, and not ban civil unions. (Romney says VOM is superior to the Travaglini-Lees compromise amendment.) Romney also announces support of VOM’s proposed bill promoting partnership benefits for any couple wanting them (see “Benefits Fairness Act” filed Jan. 2006). Romney says he’s opposed to removing the four SJC judges. Calls for a “high degree of respect and tolerance for people whose lifestyle and choices and orientation is as they may choose.”
- July 22, 2005 Romney says only Legislature can change birth certificates from “father/mother” to “Parent A/Parent B”.
- Sept. 14, 2005 Travaglini-Lees compromise amendment defeated in Legislature.
- Nov. 2005 Romney tells Federalist Society that judiciary must be grounded in Constitution and law and precedents, and only the Legislature and people can change that base.
- Jan. 2, 2006 Boston Globe reports Romney issued special Governor’s ceremonial marriage licenses to 189 same-sex couples in 2005 (including to homosexual activist state senator), claiming he did not refuse because he was evenly applying the “statute”. [Note: There is no new statute establishing same-sex marriage.]
- Jan. 11, 2006 Romney files “Benefits Fairness Act” with VoteOnMarriage, which is roundly criticized by GLBT lobby, and shelved in Committee as late-filed bill.
- March 10-14, 2006 Romney says laws require Catholic Charities not to discriminate against same-sex parents in its adoption placements [but there’s only an administrative regulation]. He says same-sex couples have "a legitimate interest" in adopting children.
- June 2, 2006 Romney sends letter to US Congress arguing for federal marriage amendment.
- June 28, 2006 Romney urges Legislature to vote on VOM amendment, and addresses importance of following Constitution.
- Sept. 30, 2006 Romney says he has to “follow the law,” and accept Mass. Superior Court ruling stating Rhode Island lesbian couple can marry in Massachusetts (following an earlier SJC ruling addressing Rhode Island’s lack of prohibition of same-sex marriage).
- Oct. 15, 2006 Romney addresses nationally broadcast “Liberty Sunday” (Family Research Council) event in Boston. Blames SJC for Mass. problems, says we need an outpouring of respect and tolerance for all people regardless of different choices they make, and as a nation we must reject discrimination and bigotry. Calls for support of federal marriage amendment.
- Nov. 19, 2006 Romney holds rally on State House steps announcing he’s delivering a copy of the Constitution to every Legislator who voted to recess the Constitutional Convention (to avoid the vote on the VOM amendment required by state Constitution). Romney also announces he’s appealing to the courts. [But he says nothing about the SJC precedent of Dec. 20, 2002, ruling that the Legislature must vote in this situation, which already affirms that he should call Legislators back.]
©2006 MassResistance (11-23-06)