He likes to hide behind a smokescreen of political promises, but history has shown that Mitt Romney has no love of rights when it comes to the LGBT community. When, in 2003, the state of Massachusetts decided to legalize gay marriage, Romney put his nose into the business and made attempts to screw things up bureaucratically.
Since same-sex couples could now have children, there needed to be a slight change in birth certificates. Instead of listing the “father” of the child, the initial proposal was to list the “father or second parent”. Romney, governor at the time, felt that this was attacking his religious values, however, and instead implemented a complicated process that proved to be little more than harassment.
He decided that each case of same-sex parentage needed to be reviewed individually by lawyers and then “approved.” If approved, the next step was to manually cross out the word “father” and write in “second parent”. This all seems rather harmless at first glance, aside from an annoying bureaucratic hurdle, but in reality there are a lot more legal implications to the process.
In addition to being time consuming and expensive for taxpayers, it also delayed the processing of birth certificates. By law they need to be taken care of within 10 days, but the legal formality was taking much longer than that. Manually writing on a birth certificate also means that the legal document has been tampered with, creating issues with school registration, getting a passport or a driver’s license, joining the military and registering to vote. This is made all the worse because of the paranoid post-9/11 security measures in place.
Admittedly, having a parent with no biological connection does prove to be a bit complicated, and I’m not sure how that works legally. I’d imagine this is, however, nothing new and there are procedures already in place for cases in which the father on the birth certificate is not the biological one. But Mitt’s abuse of the bureaucracy to create inconvenience for same-sex couples is little more than spite, a religious opinion mixing up with proper law.
Luckily for everyone, the problem was fixed once Romney had left his position as governor. Unfortunately for everyone, he’s now running for office and the threat of even more of these paper-war type tactics looms on the horizon should he be elected.