One Year Out From Inauguration Day
January 20, 2012 by HRC staff
Post submitted by Dan Rafter, Former HRC Associate Director of Communications
One year from today, the next President of the United States will take the oath of office. Will we be able to look forward to more years of continued progress, or will a president who has pledged to roll back the clock on equality be taking office?
Imagine a reality under President Romney.
President Romney is bound by the NOM “marriage vow,” he signed in 2011 – so you can expect him not only to push for a federal marriage amendment, but also set up a McCarthy-like commission to look into allegations of “harassment” against NOM’s supporters. That means that under President Romney, NOM’s supporters can continue to hold up signs like the one below (via the Bilerico Project) , but equality advocates who peacefully counter-demonstrate could become the victims of some Orwellian tribunal headed by a “Values Czar” (Rick Santorum?) who works to protect the well-being of NOM’s most viciously anti-gay leaders.
Romney also has pledged to uphold the discriminatory Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) – which the Obama administration believes is unconstitutional and no longer defends. Under President Romney, same-sex couples will continue to be denied over 1,100 federal benefits and protections – remaining second class citizens in the eyes of the federal government.
Want to advance workplace protections? Not under President Romney – despite a 1994 pledge to co-sponsor that session’s version of ENDA, Romney has since backed far, far away from protecting LGBT workers. Now, he claims federal workplace protections for LGBT Americans would “open a litigation floodgate and unfairly penalize employers at the hands of activist judges.”
What about creating more welcoming environments for LGBT families? President Romney sees LGBT families as abhorrent, incredulously telling a crowd in South Carolina several years ago that, much to his dismay, same-sex couples were marrying in Massachusetts, and “some of them are even having children born to them.”
President Romney wouldn’t just make being lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender difficult through legislation like DOMA or a federal marriage amendment. His close affiliation with groups like NOM, and the disregard with which he approaches equality, sends a message to the most extreme anti-gay groups that it’s ok to publically discriminate against LGBT Americans. We cannot afford to underestimate how important the next 11 months will be - and how unfortunate it would be for Mitt Romney or one of his fellow GOP presidential hopefuls to capture the presidency.
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