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Marriage Equality USA: Romney stance 'raises profound questions' for married same-sex military couples

News release from Marriage Equality USA:

Sacramento, CA / Boston, MA  •  November 26, 2011 ― Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney now favors protection for LGBT workers, both before and after they are hired.  “I favor gay rights,” Romney said during a one-hour video interview with the Nashua Telegraph newspaper editorial board on Tuesday, marking the first time that a major Republican presidential contender has taken such a position.

At a conservative evangelical forum three days earlier in Des Moines, Iowa, the trailing Republican presidential candidates — Bachmann, Gingrich, Perry, Santorum — renewed their firm opposition to civil rights for LGBT people, but the leading candidates — Cain, Paul, Romney — are trending in the other direction.

“Romney’s new stance raises profound questions for members of the armed forces who are legally married to same-sex spouses,” says Marriage Equality USA Project Leader Ned Flaherty, “because if Romney applies his new fair employment policy to the military, then he would also have to support an end to the pay cuts of up to 40% which are imposed by the Defense of Marriage Act.”  DOMA denies all military personnel with same-sex spouses up to 368 active/reserve/veteran benefits, including housing, medical/dental/optical care, commissary discounts, separation pay, relocation, spouse employment aid, survivor benefits, legal services, and burial rights.

Mormon Church officials have strongly opposed LGBT civil rights for decades. It remains to be seen whether Romney’s interpretation of his faith will allow him to advocate for paying all military personnel fairly.

Marriage Equality USA’s “Election 2012” table is a side-by-side comparison of presidential candidates’ plans for America’s 31 million LGBT citizens.  Since going live on August 15, over 75 articles about the comparison table were published in magazines, Web sites, and newspapers, including The Wall Street Journal.  This week’s update marks the 11th time since the project began that a candidate has changed a stance.  “The data we report is used by voters, journalists, and, of course, the candidates,” says Flaherty.

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I disagree with the statement that the LDS church has opposed civil rights of LGBT individuals. While it is correct that the LDS church stands by its claim that marriage is defined as a relationship between a man and a women, they have supported civil liberty battles in regards to property and rental rights in Salt Lake City. To state that opposition to gay marriage is opposition to all civil liberties is misleading.

I don't trust any of them, but I really hope he is evolving in what he believes here. Ron Paul and Gary Johnson are the only two that I believe in what they say right now (if you're not familiar with Johnson, then look him up.....he is our best bet right now as far as the Republicans are concerned and doesn't get anywhere near the amount of exposure that he deserves!).
We will have to wait and see what happens here. The likes of Romney and Cain tend to change their minds with the changing of the wind, so I'm not getting excited over this yet!

The right to marriage, confirmed by the U.S. Supreme Court in at least 14 separate cases, is, indeed, a civil liberty, and with it goes 1,138 federal benefits, plus untold state benefits. Although opposition to same-sex marriage may not constitute opposition to all civil liberties, it certainly is opposition to at least all the civil liberties arising from the 1,138 benefits denied by the DOMA (Defense of Marriage Act).

Over decades, Mormon church officials spent tens of millions of dollars oppressing LGBT citizens, instead of trying to halt poverty, illness, ignorance, and homelessness. In 2008 alone, out-of-state Mormons, presured by church leaders, poured tens of millions of dollars into California to defeat Californians' right to marry the people that they love. Out-of-state Mormons have launched similar efforts in many states where they do not live. That constitutes opposing civil rights for LGBT individuals.

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