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Report: Romney rejected birth certificates for gay parents; ordered invasive legal reviews

Thursday, October 25, 2012

BOSTON — In 2003, while Governor of Massachusetts, GOP presidential nominee Mitt Romney, who publicly said he opposed child-rearing by gay and lesbian couples, insisted that his top legal staff individually review the circumstances of every birth to same-sex parents.

Following the 2003 ruling by the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court, which legalized same-sex marriage, the state’s Registry of Vital Records and Statistics set-out to comply with the ruling by revising its birth certificate forms for children born to same-sex couples. The box for “father” would be relabeled “father or second parent,” reflecting the new law.

Mitt Romney

But according to a report Thursday by The Boston Globe, then-Governor Romney rejected the Registry of Vital Records plan, and only after winning a case-by-case approval from Romney’s lawyers could hospital officials and town clerks across the state be permitted to cross out by hand the word “father” on individual birth certificates, and then write in “second parent,” in ink.

The Boston Globe details the extraordinary effort by Romney to prevent routine recording of births to gay parents:

Deliberations about the policies, including dozens of exchanges about the marriages and births of individual families, are recounted in e-mails and legal memos sent between the governor’s office and lawyers at the Department of Public Health, which oversees the Registry of Vital Records. Romney’s insistence on scrutiny harmed the ‘integrity of the vital record-keeping system,’ one official said.

The practice of requiring high-level legal review continued for the rest of Romney’s term, despite a warning from a Department of Public Health lawyer who said such a system placed the children of same-sex parents at an unfair disadvantage. Crossouts and handwritten alterations constituted “violations of existing statutes’’ and harmed “the integrity of the vital record-keeping system,’’ the deputy general counsel of the department, Peggy Wiesenberg, warned in a confidential December 13, 2004, memo to Mark Nielsen, Romney’s general counsel.

The changes also would impair law enforcement and security efforts in a post-9/11 world, she said, and children with altered certificates would be likely to “encounter [difficulties] later in life . . . as they try to register for school, or apply for a passport or a driver’s license, or enlist in the military, or register to vote.”

Romney’s interventions mostly resulted in delays awarding birth certificates for women married to same sex partners who gave birth. Gay men seeking parental rights were required to take a different route, by obtaining a court order.

The birth-certificates episode reflects the constantly evolving approach regarding LGBT rights by Romney.

In 1994, while campaigning for a Senate seat against then incumbent Massachusetts Senator Ted Kennedy, Romney promised to be a moderate champion of gay rights. Later, while governor as well as during his first run for president in 2008, Romney hardened his stance.

After the Supreme Judicial Court ruling, he actively supported efforts in Massachusetts for a constitutional amendment defining marriage as between a man and a woman. In 2008, he sought support from the religious conservatives who vote disproportionately in Republican presidential primaries.

In his current presidential campaign, Romney continues to oppose same-sex marriage and has said he supports amending the U.S. Constitution to define marriage as between one man and one woman. LGBT equality rights advocates have denounced Romney’s intervention.

“It’s appalling that Mitt Romney would create so many additional obstacles for same-sex parents, particularly when the path to starting a family is already so hard for LGBT people,” said HRC President Chad Griffin.

“Romney prioritized his own distaste for LGBT people over the well-being of children in Massachusetts. Mitt Romney didn’t care that these children would face a lifetime of obstacles in obtaining legal documentation for things like getting a driver’s license or registering to vote; he only cared about making sure same-sex parents felt abnormal and isolated simply because they wanted to start a family,” said Griffin.

Earlier this year, Romney said adoption for same-sex couples was legal in all states but one, when in fact, laws in seven states restrict same-sex couples from adopting altogether. And in the vast majority of states, adoption by LGB individuals and families is unclear and left to the discretion of judges, state agencies and adoption agencies.

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44 more reader comments:

  1. I Hate Him !!!

    Posted on Thursday, October 25, 2012 at 11:09am
  2. so now innocent children born to gay parents cant have the same rights either… where is the line drawn with you, Romney?!

    Posted on Thursday, October 25, 2012 at 11:11am
  3. he’s making himself look like more of an idiot with each passing day. i really, really hope he doesn’t get elected… if you think things are bad now, just wait; he will add to the disaster.

    Posted on Thursday, October 25, 2012 at 11:12am
  4. Why? Does every child not deserve Loving Home? Mitt, Mitt, Mitt. . . . As when you became Governor of Massachusetts, you let me down. 8.( . .

    Posted on Thursday, October 25, 2012 at 11:14am
  5. This don’t even make sense. So basically these newborns don’t exist in his eyes? Everyone has to have a birth certificate.

    Posted on Thursday, October 25, 2012 at 11:14am
  6. And this is why I didn’t vote for him.

    Posted on Thursday, October 25, 2012 at 11:15am
  7. Such a flip flopping lying hater.

    Posted on Thursday, October 25, 2012 at 11:16am
  8. I can’t stand him.

    Posted on Thursday, October 25, 2012 at 11:17am
  9. Can you say “obstructionist”?

    Posted on Thursday, October 25, 2012 at 11:17am
  10. We should reject Romenemy

    Posted on Thursday, October 25, 2012 at 11:18am
  11. Another sad commentary on the Republican party.

    Posted on Thursday, October 25, 2012 at 11:19am
  12. Of course he did! Hey Log Cabin Republicans …. YOU LISTENING????

    Posted on Thursday, October 25, 2012 at 11:21am
  13. This just goes to show on how dumb the American people have gotten if Romney gets in the Whitehouse.

    Posted on Thursday, October 25, 2012 at 11:21am
  14. What a sick fuck

    Posted on Thursday, October 25, 2012 at 11:23am
  15. Another reason Mitt has to go

    Posted on Thursday, October 25, 2012 at 11:37am
  16. how am I not surprised..

    Posted on Thursday, October 25, 2012 at 11:39am
  17. So does this really surprise anyone?

    Posted on Thursday, October 25, 2012 at 11:41am
  18. Putz!

    Posted on Thursday, October 25, 2012 at 11:45am
  19. Pathetic prick.

    Posted on Thursday, October 25, 2012 at 11:50am
  20. He is an asswipe, and stupid STUPID people want to vote for Him? Talk about dumb and dumber.

    Posted on Thursday, October 25, 2012 at 11:51am
  21. Stupid bigot

    Posted on Thursday, October 25, 2012 at 11:58am
  22. He did it now

    Posted on Thursday, October 25, 2012 at 11:58am
  23. F—king Moron. ASSHOLE.

    Posted on Thursday, October 25, 2012 at 12:05pm
  24. What an idiot, I really hope he doesn’t get elected!!

    Posted on Thursday, October 25, 2012 at 12:13pm
  25. How can I be expected to support an American President who doesn’t support all Americans? I don’t want this man anywhere near the White House.

    Posted on Thursday, October 25, 2012 at 12:14pm
  26. This guy really sucks!

    Posted on Thursday, October 25, 2012 at 12:25pm
  27. Romney for DEATH TO AMERICANS RIGHTS WOW THE FUCK DO YOU THINK YOU ARE TELLING US WE CANT DO THIS CAN HAVE HAPPENESS WITH WHOEVER WE WANT AND HAVE FAMILTZ FUCK YOU MITT

    Posted on Thursday, October 25, 2012 at 12:26pm
  28. I’d love to take away his rights. So DISGUSTING how other people have the power to control our rights!!!

    Posted on Thursday, October 25, 2012 at 12:30pm
  29. Fucking asshole !!! I know some great gay parents to do a better job than some straight parents !!! Maybe if Romney was raised by gay parents he would of not been such a narrow minded dumb ass!!’

    Posted on Thursday, October 25, 2012 at 12:43pm
  30. Asshole

    Posted on Thursday, October 25, 2012 at 12:47pm
  31. this man really is a piece of work,he makes me sick.

    Posted on Thursday, October 25, 2012 at 12:49pm
  32. I detest and reject this man

    Posted on Thursday, October 25, 2012 at 12:54pm
  33. I wish more people could see through him. He’s a bully.

    Posted on Thursday, October 25, 2012 at 12:56pm
  34. Stupid fucker.

    Posted on Thursday, October 25, 2012 at 12:57pm
  35. Every time you see a bully you see a few weak-minded followers with them. Romney has his. They are called Republicans!

    Posted on Thursday, October 25, 2012 at 1:40pm
  36. Wow

    Posted on Thursday, October 25, 2012 at 1:41pm
  37. Wtf

    Posted on Thursday, October 25, 2012 at 2:00pm
  38. He must be fucking stopped

    Posted on Thursday, October 25, 2012 at 2:01pm
  39. I pray mittens does not win the Presidency.

    Posted on Thursday, October 25, 2012 at 3:49pm
  40. somebody just quarter him. please.

    Posted on Thursday, October 25, 2012 at 4:14pm
  41. May he get amoebic dysentery.

    Posted on Thursday, October 25, 2012 at 4:27pm
  42. His ignorance is never ending…

    Posted on Thursday, October 25, 2012 at 5:01pm
  43. why does this mag even bother

    Posted on Thursday, October 25, 2012 at 5:16pm
  44. Soooooooo he has to go…asap!!!

    Posted on Thursday, October 25, 2012 at 9:17pm