16 more fretful days until Election Day, Nov. 6 and already frenzied nerves are fraying fast. And while the debates between President Barack Obama and former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney have not really dealt with LGBT issues, Saturday saw an explosion of rapid responses within an hour from both campaigns over a statement by Romney surrogate Bay Buchanan – sister of notorious antigay pundit Pat Buchanan – suggesting Romney was backing away from his belief in a Federal Marriage Amendment (FMA) banning same sex marriage.
Buzzfeed’s Chris Geidner first reported at 4:45 EST late Saturday afternoon
A top Romney aide appeared last week to reverse the campaign's support of the Federal Marriage Amendment, which would bar states from allowing same-sex couples to marry.
In a little-noted comment in the spin room following this past week's presidential debate in New York, Romney campaign senior adviser Bay Buchanan laid out what appears to be an about-face for the Republican presidential nominee on the proposed Federal Marriage Amendment. Buchanan said that Romney is a "strong advocate for the Tenth Amendment" — which protects states' rights — and believes that marriage decisions are "a state issue."
Earlier in the election cycle, Romney was one of several Republican candidates to sign a pledge put forward by the National Organization for Marriage in 2011 that included support for "[s]ending a constitutional amendment defining marriage as between one man and one woman to the states for ratification."
On Tuesday night, however, Buchanan, the sister of former presidential candidate Pat Buchanan, told The Advocate's Julie Bolcer, "He very much supports traditional marriage, but he's also a very strong advocate for the Tenth Amendment. It's a state issue."
The report also stated that when asked about how Romney's opposition to same-sex couples' marriage rights, including his support for the Defense of Marriage Act, would help same-sex parents, "Buchanan responded that Romney would not get in the way of what states decide to do on marriage and adoption."
Email inboxes were instantly flooded with evidence of Romney’s staunch position supporting a FMA such as Romney telling Fox New’s Neil Cavuto: "My preference would be to have a national standard that defines marriage as a relationship between a man and a woman." Another provided video of Romney during the Republican primaries saying he preferred a “Constitutional” amendment like former President George W. Bush – putting him to the right of Rep. Michelle Bachman who just stressed her support for the 10th Amendment at states rights.
The Obama for America campaign rushed out a detailed fact sheet on Romney and the FMA, presumably prepared in case he tried to move to the middle on marriage:
Mitt Romney seems to have come down with a case of Romnesia on marriage equality, but what his campaign seems to forget is that his pledges to enshrine discrimination into the Constitution were all caught on tape. Romney has repeatedly said that he supports a federal marriage amendment, and a senior adviser even said he would campaign on opposing marriage equality. Their latest about-face should be seen for what it is: a convenient case of #Romnesia to fool voters.
ANOTHER CASE OF ROMNESIA? A TOP ROMNEY AIDE APPEARED TO WALK BACK ROMNEY’S SUPPORT FOR ENSHRINING DISCRIMINATION INTO THE CONSTITUTION WITH A FEDERAL MARRIAGE AMENDMENT…
A “Top Romney Aide” Seemed To “Reverse The Campaign's Support Of The Federal Marriage Amendment” By Claiming Romney Supports The State’s Determining Marriage Laws – Even Though Romney “Was One Of Several Republican Candidates To Sign A Pledge Put Forward By The National Organization For Marriage” That Included Supporting A Federal Marriage Amendment. “A top Romney aide appeared last week to reverse the campaign's support of the Federal Marriage Amendment, which would bar states from allowing same-sex couples to marry. In a little-noted comment in the spin room following this past week's presidential debate in New York, Romney campaign senior adviser Bay Buchanan laid out what appears to be an about-face for the Republican presidential nominee on the proposed Federal Marriage Amendment. Buchanan said that Romney is a ‘strong advocate for the Tenth Amendment’ — which protects states' rights — and believes that marriage decisions are ‘a state issue.’ Earlier in the election cycle, Romney was one of several Republican candidates to sign a pledge put forward by the National Organization for Marriage in 2011 that included support for ‘[s]ending a constitutional amendment defining marriage as between one man and one woman to the states for ratification.’ On Tuesday night, however, Buchanan, the sister of former presidential candidate Pat Buchanan, told The Advocate's Julie Bolcer, ‘He very much supports traditional marriage, but he's also a very strong advocate for the Tenth Amendment. It's a state issue.’” [Buzzfeed, 10/20/12]
…BUT PREVIOUSLY, A ROMNEY SENIOR ADVISOR SAID ROMNEY WOULD CAMPAIGN ON OPPOSING SAME-SEX MARRIAGE AND ACTIVELY PUSH FOR A FEDERAL MARRIAGE AMENDMENT
Romney Senior Adviser Ed Gillespie: “Sure” Romney Will Campaign On Issue Of Marriage. GILLESPIE: “Well, his position is clear. He believes marriage should be between a man and a woman. …” TODD: “Will you guys campaign on this, campaign on this issue of marriage?” GILLESPIE: “Sure. I think it's important for people and, you know, it engenders strong feelings on both sides. I think it’s important to be, you know, respectful in how we talk about the-- how we talk about our differences, but the fact is, that's a significant difference in November.” [Daily Rundown, MSNBC, 5/10/12]
Asked If Romney Would “Actively Push For A Constitutional Amendment” Banning Same Sex Marriage, Romney Senior Adviser Ed Gillespie Said Romney Believes “A Federal Marriage Amendment Should Be Enacted.” TODD: “So he will actively push for a constitutional amendment?” GILLESPIE: “His view is that, given the, you know, the nature of states sanctioning gay marriage and the full faith and credit clause in the constitution, that a federal marriage amendment should be enacted.” [Daily Rundown, MSNBC, 5/10/12]
…AND ROMNEY HAS REPEATEDLY ENDORSED A FEDERAL MARRIAGE AMENDMENT, EVEN SIGNING AN ANTI-GAY PLEDGE PROMISING TO SUPPORT IT
Romney: “I Will Stand Up For And Fight For An Amendment To Define Marriage As A Relationship Between A Man And A Woman.” [Hannity Radio, 2/22/12]
Romney: “I Have Made It Very Clear I Would Have A Federal Standard Of Marriage Being Between One Man And One Woman.” [KXLY Radio (Spokane, WA), 2/14/12]
Romney: “When I Am President, I Will Preserve The Defense Of Marriage Act And I Will Fight For A Federal Amendment Defining Marriage As A Relationship Between One Man And One Woman.” [Romney Prepared Remarks, Conservative Political Action Conference, 2/10/12]
Romney: “We Should Have A Constitutional Amendment That Defines Marriage As A Relationship Between A Man And A Woman.” [New York Times, 1/16/12; Romney, South Carolina Faith & Freedom Coalition, 1/16/12]
Romney: “We Should Have A Federal Amendment Of The Constitution Defining Marriage As A Relationship Between A Man And A Woman.” [ABC News/WMUR Debate, 1/7/12]
Romney Signed The National Organization For Marriage Pledge Promising To Support A Federal Constitutional Amendment Defining Marriage As The Union Of One Man And One Woman. “Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney has signed a pledge sponsored by the National Organization for Marriage promising to support a federal constitutional amendment ‘defining marriage as the union of one man and one woman.’ …It's also notable because Romney was not always such a strong opponent of gay rights. In 1994, he sent a letter to a gay Republican group saying he would be a stronger advocate for gay rights than his Massachusetts Senate opponent, Sen. Ted Kennedy. ‘We must make equality for gays and lesbians a mainstream concern,’ wrote Romney. He also characterized the ‘don't ask, don't tell’ policy as ‘the first in a number of steps that will ultimately lead to gays' and lesbians' being able to serve openly and honestly in our nation's military.’” [CBS News, 8/4/11]
Not long thereafter came a statement from Log Cabin Republican Executive Director R. Clarke Cooper from his perch at the California Republican Party Headquarters in Burbank:
As Bay Buchanan recognized last week, states are choosing to recognize the freedom to marry for same-sex couples. Several legislatures have now expressed bipartisan support for equality, including New York, where legislation passed through a Republican-majority senate, and it is very likely that one or more states will affirm the freedom to marry at the ballot this year. The truly conservative and federalist position is to respect these decisions by states. From the perspective of the 10th Amendment of the Constitution, the federal government should have no role in defining marriage beyond recognizing the work that states have done, which means no FMA, and no DOMA."
Then, at 5:45 EST – one hour after his original story appeared, Geidner posted an update:
Romney Campaign Clarifies, Still Supports Federal Marriage Amendment
UPDATED: Senior campaign adviser Bay Buchanan said last week that the candidate supports states' choices. This afternoon, though, she told BuzzFeed he still supports the amendment proposal.
Posted Oct 20, 2012 4:45pm EDT
A top Romney adviser disavowed remarks and a position reported this past week that appeared to be a reversal of the campaign's support of the Federal Marriage Amendment, which would bar states from allowing same-sex couples to marry.
After receiving no response to multiple inquiries to the Romney campaign about the comments over the past day, Bay Buchanan issued a clarification to BuzzFeed this afternoon following publication, writing, "Governor Romney supports a federal marriage amendment to the Constitution that defines marriage as an institution between a man and a woman. Governor Romney also believes, consistent with the 10th Amendment, that it should be left to states to decide whether to grant same-sex couples certain benefits, such as hospital visitation rights and the ability to adopt children. I referred to the Tenth Amendment only when speaking about these kinds of benefits – not marriage."
And then – silence. No stroke today. So it’s back to Twitter while watching Saturday football – which earlier in the day featured Brigham Young University versus Notre Dame – and somewhere a Prop 8 supporter was crying over which team to support – the Mormons or the Catholics.