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Kevin Naff

Views & Voices

Nothing scarier than ‘President Romney’

Monday, November 5, 2012

From complete opposition to LGBT rights advances to the frightening prospect of a slew of Supreme Court appointments to a litany of pro-gay advances that could be wiped away with the stroke of a pen, the prospect of a President Mitt Romney should be enough to motivate LGBT voters across the country to turn out in support of President Barack Obama’s critical second term.

In many ways, Romney has represented a disappointing step backward for the GOP from Sen. John McCain’s unsuccessful run for president four years ago.

Mitt Romney
Photo: Michael Key, Washington Blade

McCain, while certainly no LGBT advocate, tamped down the anti-gay rhetoric at the 2008 GOP convention, rebuffed the National Organization for Marriage and refused to endorse a federal constitutional amendment banning marriage equality and even granted the Blade an interview in which he discussed his gay heroes and friends who have shaped his views on our issues.

Four years later, instead of moving forward, Romney has taken the Republican Party back to the dark days of the George W. Bush era.

He signed a pledge from NOM to support a constitutional ban on same-sex marriage and promised to defend DOMA in court and to set up a commission to investigate supposed attacks on those who oppose marriage equality. He has spoken out against the Employment Non-Discrimination Act, despite suggestions from the Log Cabin Republicans that Romney would be open to supporting the long-suffering bill. Romney also opposed repeal of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell.”

When you ask the Log Cabin folks to justify gay support for Romney, they invariably pivot and talk about jobs: LGBT people need jobs and Romney’s the guy to fix the economy. What malarkey.

Romney has been repeatedly pressed to explain his so-called economic plan but he and running mate Rep. Paul Ryan refuse to elaborate much beyond calling for a 20 percent tax cut across the board. They have refused to say which deductions they would eliminate to pay for this exorbitant and reckless cut.

So, if President Romney cuts taxes by 20 percent but eliminates the deductions (i.e. mortgage interest) that middle class taxpayers rely on, many of us could end up paying more in taxes. Of course, there’s no way to know for sure because Romney won’t answer questions about it.

On health care, Romney says his first act as president would be to repeal Obamacare. But wait, he also says he supports popular provisions of the law like not disqualifying those with preexisting conditions from coverage and the ability of dependents up to age 26 to stay on their parents’ plan. Yet he offers no details on how he would pay for retaining those provisions.

You can’t keep the most popular provisions of the law and strip away all the other pieces that help pay for it. The math simply doesn’t work.

And on LGBT issues, there is no comparison.

President Obama has lived up to his commitment to be our fierce advocate. He signed an expansion of the federal hate crimes law; repealed “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell”; endorsed marriage equality; ended Justice Department support for DOMA; and instructed myriad departments to find ways to boost LGBT visibility and inclusion in the nation’s laws, including mandating hospital visitation rights for same-sex partners.

Just last week, Obama came out in support of gay couples whose rights hang in the balance in Maryland, Maine, Washington and Minnesota referenda battles.

It would be difficult to undo some of the legislative advances of the past four years, but regulatory issues are another matter.

The Blade earlier this year identified 16 sub-regulatory policy advances that a President Romney could undo with ease. They include: improving treatment of LGBT and HIV-positive people in detention with Immigration and Customs Enforcement; funding for anti-bullying initiatives; including LGBT youth in abstinence-until-marriage sex education programs; changing customs declaration forms to recognize same-sex households; extending State Department benefits to partners of foreign service officers and many other key benefits.

Obama has surpassed most expectations — including my own — for his first term.

On LGBT issues, his decision to stop defending DOMA represents a tremendous victory; on marriage, his brave stand means that support for marriage equality becomes the default position for all future Democratic presidential nominees. On the economy, he inherited a disaster of epic proportions from the last Republican president who promised to cut taxes and reign in spending but who instead presided over an unprecedented expansion of government and launched two unfunded wars, crippling the nation’s economy.

Romney’s economic plans are too vague to be trusted. For true fiscal conservatives, the only responsible choice in this race is President Obama.

And for LGBT voters the choice is even clearer. A second term for President Obama means another shot at ENDA, the Uniting American Families Act, DOMA repeal and much more. President Obama has more than earned LGBT support for four more years.

Opinions and advice expressed in our Views & Voices columns represent the author's own views and not necessarily those of LGBTQ Nation. We welcome opposing views and diverse perspectives. To submit a article, column or video, contact us here. Due to the volume of submissions received, we cannot guarantee publication.

© Washington Blade. Reprinted by permission.

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19 more reader comments:

  1. Oh there are SOME things scarier, but this is pretty scary.

    Posted on Monday, November 5, 2012 at 6:05pm
  2. So scary I could run and hide.

    Posted on Monday, November 5, 2012 at 6:06pm
  3. The only thing scarier than a Romney Presidency is a Romney Supreme Court. It would be awful if he was president and got the opportunity to appoint justices.

    Posted on Monday, November 5, 2012 at 6:08pm
  4. I will NOT vote for either man tomorrow.

    Posted on Monday, November 5, 2012 at 6:08pm
  5. he isent scarier he is just a asshole who dosent desever this job

    Posted on Monday, November 5, 2012 at 6:13pm
  6. BullshMITT hates us! Well quite a few of “US” are Voting for Obama//Biden in response!!!

    Posted on Monday, November 5, 2012 at 6:18pm
  7. Dont even put that before his name! Makes me wanna puke! Obama will be victorious!!!!!! “OBAMA 2012″

    Posted on Monday, November 5, 2012 at 6:20pm
  8. Well, the best part is Americans are actually f’n sick and tired of this nation being slowly destroyed. Whoever takes office, if he tries to pull any more ridiculous b.s., at least we’re not afraid to stand up and fight back.

    Posted on Monday, November 5, 2012 at 6:23pm
  9. God forbid

    Posted on Monday, November 5, 2012 at 6:25pm
  10. Except for the Americans who elected him.

    Posted on Monday, November 5, 2012 at 6:25pm
  11. Forward2012

    Posted on Monday, November 5, 2012 at 6:26pm
  12. He is just scary period. The fact that people want to vote for him just because they are not happy with Obama or because they always vote for his party is sad. Look at both sides, make and educated choice and if you don’t want either just spoil the ballot. In short just vote!

    Posted on Monday, November 5, 2012 at 6:30pm
  13. Posted on Monday, November 5, 2012 at 6:40pm
  14. He’s scary in more ways than just LGBT rights!

    Posted on Monday, November 5, 2012 at 7:38pm
  15. and that’s why Mitt Romney isn’t getting my vote. Obama 2012 all the way

    Posted on Monday, November 5, 2012 at 9:25pm
  16. Explain why Obama has constantly switched his opinions on gay marriage. He wants to gain more votes and more popularity by switching towards gay marriage, then when he moves to some place where they’re more against it he switches. He only looks to get more votes, not to be for certain people.

    Posted on Monday, November 5, 2012 at 9:34pm
  17. Romney’s low approval rating as Gov. should be enough for people to get it, but his supporters are so fueled by their hated for Obama that I’m pretty sure they have no clue who Romney really is. The underhanded shit that his camp has let slide is appalling and proves that they operate under a different set of rules than everyone else. His supporters seem to think that other countries don’t matter either but they do, which is why I find it funny that 22 out of 23 countries wold rather see Obama as president. The oddball country being Pakistan….go figure. Your leader’s morale is really important, and with the exception of his rabid fanbase, no one really respects his shady ass. @casey we all know for a fact that Romney is strongly against gay marriage, so there’s no way most gay people will vote for him. And if anyone’s flip flopping the most, it’s Romney. I personally don’t believe Obama was really against gay marriage from the jump. His character has always struck me as being open minded, so I have a feeling the initial opinions on it was to get conservatives on his side.

    Posted on Tuesday, November 6, 2012 at 1:41am
  18. @Casey Intveld, If Romney flip-flops any more he could be a gymnast. Is he trying out for the Presidency or the Olympics? And if you want to talk about pandering then Mitts your man.

    Posted on Tuesday, November 6, 2012 at 2:57am
  19. another President Busch is pretty scary.

    Posted on Tuesday, November 6, 2012 at 3:06am