HRC Blog

Mitt ‘N Match: Romney’s Jarring Inconsistencies on LGBT Equality

Post submitted by Dan Rafter, Former HRC Associate Director of Communications

Confused by where exactly Mitt Romney stands on issues of LGBT equality? You should be. Romney has reversed course on issues from open service in the military to workplace discrimination so many times that we’re left scratching our heads wondering what his true policy positions are. The answer, of course, depends on which way the political winds are blowing and what constituency Romney is trying to woo.

Now, HRC has launched a new site – Mitt ‘N Match – that will allow you to easily track Romney’s flip-flops across several major equality issues – open service in the military, discrimination, and relationship recognition.

In 1994, Romney famously declared “I’ll be better than Ted [Kennedy] for gay rights” while trying to unsuccessfully capture Kennedy’s U.S. Senate seat from Massachusetts. In a letter to the Log Cabin Republicans of Massachusetts, Romney vowed to sponsor a federal Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA), called open service of gays and lesbians in the military a shared goal, and said preventing discrimination against gays and lesbians must be a “mainstream concern.”

By 2007 – when Romney’s ambitions had gone national - open service was no longer a shared goal, with the presidential hopeful telling ABC News: “’Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’ has worked well….Now is not the time for a change in that regard, and I don’t have a policy posture as to allowing gays in the military to serve there openly.”

And what about ENDA? Apparently Romney’s concerns over workplace discrimination in the 1990s had been magically alleviated, and a federal ENDA was no longer a national matter by 2006. Romney told the National Review that year: “My experience over the past several years as a governor has convinced me that ENDA would be an overly broad law that would open a litigation floodgate and unfairly penalize employers at the hands of activist judges.”

Mitt Romney may not use the same dangerous rhetoric that we hear from people like Rick Santorum or Michelle Bachmann, but he is no less dangerous to the LGBT community. HRC will continue to get the word out about each and every instance of Romney changing positions and throwing the LGBT community under the bus, just so he can win the support of the far-right at the national level.

Learn more about Mitt’s flips at


Paid for by the Human Rights Campaign ( and not authorized by any candidate or candidate's committee
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