BOSTON – A pro-family activist says that while Mitt Romney was the Massachusetts governor, from 2004 through 2006 the contender for the GOP presidential nomination handed out more than 500 one-day certificates for individuals to perform homosexual marriage ceremonies.
Author and analyst Steve Baldwin says that the numbers are real, even though the records are scarce.
“He likely issued a similar number of the permits in both 2004 and 2006, but the state records for these years are not easily available. One-day marriage certificates are permits issued to a couple allowing them to designate anyone they choose to officiate at their wedding,” Baldwin said.
“These special one-day marriage permits are not to be confused with the thousands of regular marriage licenses granted to same-sex couples by justices of the peace and town clerks by order of Gov. Romney in the aftermath of the Goodridge same-sex marriage decision,” Baldwin said.
While the officiant permits and regular marriage licenses are separate documents and separate issues in the homosexual marriage debate, Baldwin says the number of one-day officiant permits issued by Romney shows the depth of the former governor’s true intentions.
“These special certificates demonstrate where his heart was on the same-sex marriage issue since they were purely discretionary. There was no mandate forcing Romney to issue such certificates,” Baldwin said.
“This calls into question his authenticity as an alleged social conservative candidate,” Baldwin said. “His campaign rhetoric and his actions as governor don’t match.”
On the campaign trail in August, Romney signed the National Organization for Marriage pledge to support a constitutional amendment defining marriage as between one man and one woman.
Even though he signed the NOM pledge and has campaigned as a social conservative since his first White House run beginning in 2007, conservatives maintain their suspicions of Romney because of a letter he sent to a “gay” Republican group, the Log Cabin Republicans, in that 1994 campaign.
WND also has reported that during his time as governor, Romney took his support for the homosexual movement even further by endorsing transgender rights and funding for homosexual curriculum in Massachusetts’ public schools.
Baldwin contends that Romney’s actions in office and his rhetoric on the campaign trail don’t match.
“During the course of his campaign, Romney has defended this record and has embarked on a multi-million dollar effort to convince GOP voters that he is a conservative on both fiscal and social issues,” Baldwin said.
At the ABC Republican debate in New Hampshire three days before the primary, Romney said on national television that he believed marriage is between a man and a woman.
“To say that – that marriage is something other than the relationship between a man and a woman, I think, is a mistake. And the reason for that is not that we want to discriminate against people or to suggest that gay couples are not just as loving and can’t also raise children well,” Romney said.
“But it’s instead a recognition that, for society as a whole, that the nation presumably will – would be better off if – if children are raised in a setting where there’s a male and a female. And there are many cases where there’s not possible: divorce, death, single parents, gay parents, and so forth,” Romney said.
However, Baldwin and other social analysts point out that soon after the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court decision on same-sex marriage, Romney began acting as if homosexual marriage was legal.
The court urged the legislature to codify its decision but to this day, it has not acted.
“The marriage statutes on the books today remain the same – only male-female marriages are legal,” Baldwin said.
The Romney campaign did not respond to a WND request for comment.
Political analyst, author and radio talk show host Gregg Jackson agrees with Baldwin that homosexual marriage was never actually legalized.
“The truth is that courts can’t make law, a point the Goodridge Court itself admitted when they said that in order for the marriage statute, Chapter 207 in the Massachusetts General Laws, which limits marriage exclusively to one man and one woman, to accommodate ‘same-sex marriage,’ the legislature, and the legislature only, would have to alter or amend the statute itself … which of course to this day it still has not done,” Jackson said.
Jackson said the reason so many people believe that homosexual marriage is legal is that too many “leaders” keep saying so.
“Unfortunately, the reason most people, including most conservatives, believe that the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court ‘legalized’ same-sex ‘marriage’ is that far too many ‘conservative’ and Christian lawyers, leaders and pundits have repeated and continue to repeat this toxic liberal lie,” Jackson said.
Jackson points to a series of constitutional scholars who say homosexual marriage has not actually been legalized.
“Many conservative lawyers such as Professor Hadley Arkes from Amherst, Hugh Hewitt, Phyllis Schlaffley and Pat Buchanan all publicly acknowledged the fact that the Goodridge Court’s opinion was legally null and void and that Romney as governor had a constitutional obligation to ignore it,” Jackson said.
“Romney should have called for the removal of Chief Justice Margaret Marshall and the other rogue judges who issued the toothless, illegal and anti-constitutional declaratory opinion since the court never had subject matter jurisdiction to even hear the case in the first place,” Jackson said.
Baldwin, the author of “From Crayons to Condoms: The Ugly Truth About America’s Public Schools,” also cites several legal experts who agree that Romney’s actions were outside constitutional boundaries.
“Boston College Law School professor Scott Fitzgibbon says the Goodridge decision did not mean Romney was compelled to act,” Baldwin said.
“The Goodridge decision did not mandate that the executive branch issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples,” Baldwin said, quoting Fitzgibbon.
Baldwin also cites the work of constitutional scholar and law professor Herb Titus.
“Romney exercised illegal legislative authority. There was no order. There wasn’t even any order to the Department of Public Health to do anything,” Baldwin said, quoting Titus.
Baldwin also cites Arkes, who puts much of the blame for the nation’s struggle with homosexual marriage at the feet of the former governor.
“The deeper failure must go to the man who stood as governor. If it is a countdown for marriage, it is also countdown for Mitt Romney, whose political demise may be measured along the scale of moves he could have taken,” Baldwin said, quoting Arkes.
Baldwin says that a Boston Globe story from January 2, 2006, points to
Romney’s zealous actions following the Goodridge decision.
“For 17 years, Massachusetts couples have asked friends, family and loved ones to solemnize their marriage under an obscure state law allowing the governor to grant one-day certificate to officiate a wedding,” the Globe reported.
“Since same-sex marriage became legal in May 2004 Gov. Mitt Romney has approved at least 189 requests from same-sex couples in 2005, along with about 1,040 applications for heterosexual couples,” the story said.
“The one-day certificates, which cost $25, allow virtually anyone to legally solemnize a marriage anywhere in the commonwealth,” Baldwin quoted from the story.
Mass Resistance President Brian Camenker places the responsibility for homosexual marriage firmly on Romney.
“In other words, homosexual marriage exists in Massachusetts today solely due to Romney’s unilateral action. Thus, every time Romney or his administration issued a marriage license, whether it was a special one-day permit or a normal wedding license, to a homosexual couple, he was violating the state constitution,” Camenker said.
Social conservatives have written extensively on what might have happened if Romney had challenged the Goodridge opinion in court. Camenker says Romney could have ignored the decision and refused to issue any licenses or the one-day permits for solemnizing the homosexual ceremonies.
“Romney’s decision to issue the special one-day marriage permits is purely discretionary. Romney could have easily not issued any one-day permits,” Camenker said. “Romney was not mandated to issue any one-day licenses.”
Camenker’s analysis appears to be supported by the law. Massachusetts General Laws, Chapter 207, Section 39 says the governor may act.
“The governor may in his discretion designate a justice of the peace in each town and such further number, not exceeding one for every five thousand inhabitants of a city or town, as he considers expedient, to solemnize marriages, and may for a cause at any time revoke such designation,” the law reads.
“In addition to the foregoing, the governor may designate any other person to solemnize a particular marriage on a particular date and in a particular city or town, and may for cause at any time revoke such designation,” the law said.
Jackson believes he knows Romney’s motive for acting to promote homosexual marriage.
“As I and many other conservative leaders around the country have been writing and speaking about for the past five years, Mitt Romney unilaterally, illegally and unconstitutionally acted to fulfill a campaign promise to the homosexual Log Cabin Republicans not to oppose same-sex ‘marriage’ in return for their endorsement, which he got from them,” Jackson said.