Romney Delivering Commencement Address at School that Bans Gay Students
Washington– Mitt Romney is delivering the commencement address at Liberty University tomorrow – a school that bans openly LGBT students. The University also squashed the formation of a progressive student group and boasts of anti-gay classes in its curriculum. And, Liberty University’s Vice President was among those on the far-right who put pressure on the Romney campaign to oust openly gay spokesman Richard Grenell. Grenell resigned several weeks into the job after being sidelined by the campaign.
“Earlier this week, President Obama delivered a message of hope to LGBT people across the country – particularly LGBT youth who so often struggle with living openly in their communities,” said Human Rights Campaign President Joe Solmonese. “Mitt Romney, on the other hand, trivialized even the most basic forms of our relationship recognition, and is now speaking at a school that does not welcome LGBT students. When Romney is sitting on that stage tomorrow with school administrators who send such vehemently anti-gay messages to the school’s youth, it will be clear who exactly controls the direction of the Romney campaign.”
Romney’s Liberty University event caps off a week of particularly strong anti-gay rhetoric. Earlier in the week, as President Barack Obama historically endorsed marriage equality, Mitt Romney proved even more conservative than former President George W. Bush on matters of LGBT equality, declaring: "If a civil union is identical to marriage other than in the name, I don't support that.”
Just yesterday, reports surfaced tying Romney to incidents of anti-gay bullying when he was a student at the prestigious Cranbrook School in Bloomfield Hills, Michigan. Romney has brushed off questions concerning the incidents and insists that because it was the 1960s, it would not have occurred to him that the student involved was gay.
Romney’s stance against marriage equality and potential ties to anti-LGBT bullying are just the most recent in a long history of discriminating against LGBT people for his own political gain. Romney has aligned himself with the extremist National Organization for Marriage (NOM); adamantly supports both the Defense of Marriage Act and a federal marriage amendment that would strip marriage equality from couples in six states and the District of Columbia; and has donated generously to anti-gay groups like NOM and the Massachusetts Family Institute. For more on Romney’s anti-gay history, visit HRC’s Mitt ‘n Match project.
The Human Rights Campaign is America's largest civil rights organization working to achieve lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender equality. By inspiring and engaging all Americans, HRC strives to end discrimination against LGBT citizens and realize a nation that achieves fundamental fairness and equality for all.