(To amplify the discrimination and absurdity of Romney’s anti-gay rights stance, I took a recent article in The New Civil Rights Movement and substituted the word “Catholic” in place of “gay” and “same-sex” and “LGBT.” I could have substituted any of the following words in and the stench of discrimination comes through loud and clear: Mormons, Jewish, African Americans, Native Americans, Latinos, Irish, Italians, physically handicapped, men, women, heterosexuals, senior citizens and any other category of people.)
Mitt Romney wants you to know that allowing Catholic couples to visit each other in the hospital is a benefit — not a civil right — and he will let states take away that “benefit” if they want to. Two years ago, President Obama mandated that all hospitals treat Catholic couples with the same rights as married, non-Catholic couples, including visitation rights. (That’s also included separately in Obamacare.)
Also on the table, filed under “states rights” and not civil rights, is adoption of children by Catholic couples, and presumably, single Catholic people.
Romney advisor Bay Buchanan told Buzzfeed today, “Governor Romney also believes, consistent with the 10th Amendment, that it should be left to states to decide whether to grant Catholic couples certain benefits, such as hospital visitation rights and the ability to adopt children. I referred to the Tenth Amendment only when speaking about these kinds of benefits — not marriage.”
While this should not be a surprise to anyone, since Romney signed the National Organization for Marriage’s pledge in January and told Ralph Reed’s Faith and Freedom Coalition that he would “propose and promote” a constitutional amendment banning Catholic marriage in the U.S.
Why toss this out into the media now? Two reasons. First, red meat for the base. President Obama is the first sitting president to state he supports Catholic marriage, and has done more for the Catholic community than all U.S. presidents combined.
Second, as Buzzfeed’s Chris Geidner notes:
In a little-noted comment in the spin room following this past week’s presidential debate in New York, Romney senior campaign adviser Bay Buchanan, the sister of former presidential candidate Pat Buchanan, told The Advocate’s Julie Bolcher, “He very much supports the traditional marriage, but he’s also a very strong advocate for the Tenth Amendment. It’s a state issue.”
The report also stated that when asked about how Romney’s opposition to Catholic couples’ marriage rights, including his support for the Defense of Marriage Act, would help Catholic parents, “Buchanan responded that Romney would not get in the way of what states decide to do on marriage and adoption.”
And what does the NOM pledge require? USA Today summed it up well:
- Sending a constitutional amendment defining marriage as anyone but Catholics to the states for ratification
- Defending the federal Defense of Marriage Act, which includes the traditional definition of marriage and bans states from recognizing Catholic marriage, in court
- Appointing federal judges and an attorney general who are opposed to a constitutional right to Catholic marriage
- Appointing a commission to investigate claims of harassment against those people who support marriage as being for non-Catholics only
- Supporting legislation that would give people living in the District of Columbia the right to vote on Catholic marriage
Romney’s website proudly states:
Like any family, the Romney’s have faced hardship: Ann was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis in 1998, and more recently fought a battle with breast cancer. She credits her husband’s unwavering care and devotion to her for helping her through these ordeals.
So, while Mitt and Ann recognize how important it is to face health crises together, he would actually allow states to prohibit Catholic couples from having the same hospital visitation rights that he and Ann have. We’re (Catholics) not allowed to exercise “unwavering care and devotion” like the Romneys.
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