June 16, 2005
Mitt Romney, Christian crusader
BOSTON (AP) -- Gov. Mitt Romney said Thursday he will support a proposed constitutional amendment banning both same-sex marriages and civil unions in Massachusetts, the only state where gay marriage is now legal.
The proposed amendment, which was announced Thursday by opponents of gay marriage, will take the form of a citizen’s initiative. That means the state attorney general’s office must sign off on the proposal’s language, supporters must collect enough signatures and one-quarter of lawmakers in the Legislature must vote to approve it.
… “Governor Romney believes that voters should be given a straightforward amendment to decide the definition of marriage and not one that muddies the water by creating civil unions that would be equivalent of marriage in all respects but name,” said Romney’s spokesman, Eric Fehrnstrom.
Boston Archbishop Sean O’Malley and the bishops of the state’s other three Roman Catholic dioceses pledged support for signature-gathering efforts. “We encourage all Catholics to exercise their civil right to participate in the signature drive for the new initiative petition,” they said in a statement.
This latest Romney romp is a “citizen’s initiative” in name only: it’s being driven by the Massachusetts Family Institute, an extreme-right religious group led by Kristian Mineau. He has described gay marriage as “a significant assault on the fundamental building block of our society.”
Still, it’s amusing to see the MFI—one of whose stated goals is to prevent the sexual abuse of children—in bed with the Catholic church. According to a report by Massachusetts Attorney General Tom Reilly, more than 1,000 children in the Boston archdiocese were abused by priests in the last 60 years.
The new initiative, which can’t appear on a state ballot until November 2008 at the earliest, isn’t the only anti-gay effort underway. Last March, the Legislature passed a proposed constitutional amendment that would ban gay marriages but permit civil unions. It must be passed in identical form this year in order to appear on a state ballot in November 2006.
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