People are insinuating from some of Romney's 1994 comments that Romney was saying he was more "pro-gay rights" than Teddy Kennedy. The insidious implication of many authors/commentators is that Romney was effectively saying that he was "to the left" of Kennedy on gay-rights issues. That is simply not the case and everyone who knows their records knows this.
I've covered before that Romney, as of yet, has not "flip-flopped" on any gay-rights issues.
This whole hullabaloo comes mainly from the letter Romney sent to the Log Cabin Republicans about 4 weeks before the 1994 general election (for the context of that situation, please read this from Hugh Hewitt's Townhall.com blog). In the letter Romney stated " . . . I will provide MORE EFFECTIVE leadership than my opponent." and also promises to make "equality" for homosexuals "a mainstream concern. My opponent cannot do this. I can and will."
Romney's point was that Teddy was such a left-wing figure that his advocacy COULD NOT make ANY of the "gay rights" issues "a MAINSTREAM concern." Romney could have, because he is not and was not a part of the liberal establishment.
Also, as our co-blogger, Thomas Alan, wrote here a few days ago (addendum by him at end of piece):
Also of note is that the New York Times doesn't say that Gov. Romney is to the left of Sen. Kennedy on gay rights (as many websites have stated in error), merely that he would be a "stronger advocate". Looking through the 1994 Bay Windows interview the Boston Globe bases its article upon we see this:When Ted Kennedy speaks on gay rights, he’s seen as an extremist. When Mitt Romney speaks on gay rights he’s seen as a centrist and a moderate. It’s a little like if Eugene McCarthy was arguing in favor of recognizing China, people would have called him a nut. But when Richard Nixon does it, it becomes reasonable. When Ted says it, it’s extreme; when I say it, it’s mainstream.
The theory being that Sen. Kennedy was such a left-wing fringe cartoon character that no matter what legislation he proposes on certain issues, it discredits itself. I wouldn't be surprised if Gov. Romney's reasoning in the NYT letter is the same as it is in the interview.
Also, as a case in point . . . Romney was on the record in 1994, in 2004 and today as being against Gay Marriage. Teddy Kennedy is/was for Gay Marriage. Teddy argued in Senate debates:
Little support was expressed in the Senate for gay marriage. Only Senator Edward M. Kennedy, Democrat of Massachusetts, delivered an impassioned speech defending the right of same-sex couples to enjoy the same legal protections as heterosexual couples.
''The decision to bring up this divisive, discriminatory, and completely unnecessary amendment . . . shows the Senate at its worst," Kennedy added on the floor yesterday. Earlier, Kennedy invoked the recent anniversary of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and accused Bush administration and the Republican congressional leadership of seeking ''to write bigotry back into the Constitution, by denying gays and lesbians the right to marry."
Again, help get this message out.