As Governor, Romney Fought Birth Certificates for Gay Families

By Neal Broverman

Originally published on Advocate.com October 25 2012 2:37 PM ET

Correspondence unearthed by The Boston Globe show that as Massachusetts governor, Mitt Romney worked to prevent gay parents from being acknowledged on their children's birth certificates.

After same-sex marriage was legalized by Massachusetts's high court in 2003, the state Registry of Vital Records and Statistics attempted to change the boxes listed on birth certificates from "mother" and "father" to "mother" and "father or second parent." Then-governor Romney, who then and now opposes marriage equality, vigorously fought this move. His legal staff demanded they review every birth certificate granted to same-sex couples. Romney's lawyers would consider whether the certificates could be changed and, if so, allow hospital officials and town clerks to cross out the "father" abbreviation. Romney's demands applied mostly to lesbian couples, while male same-sex parents had to jump through even more hoops.

Many state officials pushed against Romney's orders, saying it complicated matters for gay parents and their children (especially in obtaining documents such as driver's licenses and passports), as well as negatively affecting record-keeping in a post-9/11 world.

Romney's efforts were mostly symbolic; the businessman took a hard right turn as governor, likely preparing for his failed presidential bid in 2008. The Human Rights Campaign blasted Romney and said this was more evidence of his homophobia and a stark reminder for LGBT voters of what a Romney presidency would mean to them.

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