A website paid for and authorized by the Massachusetts Democratic Party has posted a picture of a flier reportedly passed out at a 2002 ‘gay pride’ event by then-gubernatorial candidate Mitt Romney expressing support for homosexual rights.

The flier, on red paper, claims to have been paid for by “the Romney for Governor Committee and the Kerry Murphy Healey Committee” and reads, “Mitt and Kerry wish you a great Pride Weekend. All citizens deserve equal rights, regardless of sexual preference.”

The flier was posted as a “viewer submission” to RomneyFacts.com,” a website run by the Massachusetts Democrat Party: “Viewer submission from the Romneyfacts tip line. Austin N. was handed this flier by a Romney campaign volunteer while walking with his partner during the Pride Festival on Boston Common following the 2002 gay Pride Parade.”

This is not the first time Romney has been criticized for earlier positions on homosexual issues that seem to conflict with pronouncements against same-sex marriage made in his current effort to appeal to GOP conservatives in his run for the White House.

In Dec. 2006, the New York Times reported Romney had been hurt by revelation of a letter he had sent to the Log Cabin Club of Massachusetts claiming he would be a stronger advocate for homosexual rights than would his then-opponent, Sen. Edward Kennedy.

“We must make equality for ‘gays’ and lesbians a mainstream concern,” Mr. Romney wrote in his plea for the support of the club, a homosexual Republican organization.

The Romney campaign did not dispute the letter’s authenticity.

“Governor Romney believes Americans should be respectful of all people,” said Eric Fehrnstrom, his spokesman. “However, over the past four years as governor, Mitt Romney has not advocated or supported any change in the military’s policies and he has not implemented new or special rights in this area.”

“This is quite disturbing,” said Tony Perkins, president of the Family Research Council, who had praised Mr. Romney as a champion of traditional values at the group’s conference one year ago. “This type of information is going to create a lot of problems for Governor Romney. He is going to have a hard time overcoming this.”

The Romney campaign did not respond to WND efforts to confirm if Romney for Governor had produced the “Pride Weekend” flier, but it appears to be the same flier referenced by Boston Globe columnist Joan Vennochi in a Nov. 26, 2006, column (free registration required).

“While running for governor in 2002, Romney and his running mate, Kerry Healey, distributed pink fliers at a ‘Gay Pride’ parade, declaring ‘Mitt and Kerry wish you a great Pride weekend.’ He backed domestic partner benefits for public employees, winning the endorsement of the national Log Cabin Republicans. In his inaugural speech, he promised to defend civil rights ‘regardless of gender, sexual orientation, or race.’,” Vennochi wrote.

As WND reported, Romney’s claims he did everything possible “within the law” to throttle homosexual marriage after the Massachusetts Supreme Court issued an opinion saying denial of marriage to same-sex couples violated the state constitution have been refuted by several constitutional experts who say that just isn’t so.

Romney’s aides told WND that after four of the seven court members reinterpreted the definition of marriage, he believed he had no choice but to direct clerks and others to change state marriage forms and begin registering same-sex couples.

“What Romney did [was] he exercised illegal legislative authority,” Herb Titus said of the governor’s actions after the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court released its opinion in the Goodridge case in 2003. “He was bound by what? There was no order. There wasn’t even any order to the Department of Public Health to do anything.”

Titus, a Harvard law graduate, was founding dean of Pat Robertson’s Regent University Law School. He also worked with former Alabama Supreme Court Chief Justice Roy Moore, now a WND columnist, to draft the Constitution Restoration Act, which sought to take out of federal court jurisdiction cases that involved public officials that acknowledged God as the sovereign source of law, liberty, or government.

“All the Supreme Judicial Court did was pronounce their judgment, declared their opinion,” he told WND. “Gov. Romney is like too many other governors in America. If a court says something, they jump,” said Titus, who also is a former candidate for vice-president on the Constitution Party ticket.

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Previous stories:

Experts: Credit Romney for homosexual marriage

Mormon paper chastises Romney on porn

Romney’s ‘constitutional bungling’ criticized

‘Vote for Romney is vote for Satan’

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The many faces of Mitt Romney

Don’t be fooled by Romney

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