Being raised by a single mom -- or two moms -- is not the "ideal" that society should encourage, Mitt Romney told an audience in New Hampshire this week.
A woman at a town hall meeting in Hopkinton said she'd been raised by two women -- her grandmother and her mother. And so she wanted to know why Romney, who says marriage is intended for one man and one woman to raise children together, sees her upbringing as inferior to his own.
"I can say, look there are a lot of folks who get raised by one parent through divorce, through death or through a parent having a child out of wedlock," he answered in a CSPAN video of the event posted by ThinkProgress. "But in my view, a society recognizes that the ideal setting for raising a child is when you have the benefit of two people working together and when one is male and one is female."
Voters at the forum seemed to think Romney's views on gay rights needed clarification. Questioner after questioner asked about same-sex marriage, gay parents, and other issues until Romney just stopped answering.
"If it's the same question I don't have a new answer, but if it's a new question then go ahead," Romney warned a woman in the audience before she asked "why you feel it is not right for my dads to be able to walk down the aisle."
He quickly moved onto the next question. Earlier in the back-and-forth, Romney endorsed "partnership agreements," perhaps meaning to signal his support for domestic partnerships. And if that's the case, it puts him at odds with his party in the pivotal state of North Carolina, where Republicans are pushing a ballot initiative that would ban same-sex marriage, civil unions and domestic partnerships.
Although Romney was governor of Massachusetts when the state began recognizing same-sex marriages, it happened largely because of the courts and despite his opposition. At the time, Romney proposed civil unions as an alternative but that failed. And he no longer supports civil unions.