As governor of Massachusetts, Mitt Romney blocked a request by the Registry of Vital Records and Statistics that would have relabeled the box for “father” on a birth certificate to say “father or second parent.”
The request was made as a way to comply with the 2003 ruling by the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court to legalize gay marriage, reports The Boston Globe.
But for the former Massachusetts governor, who opposed the raising of children by gay parents, the rule was unacceptable. Therefore, Romney rejected the plan by the Registry of Vital Records and instead insisted that his top legal staff would individually review the circumstances of each birth to same-sex parents.
Only after they won approval from Romney’s lawyers would the hospital office be allowed to cross out by hand the word “father,” replacing it with “second parent: in ink.
Deliberations about the policies and divisions surrounding these policies have been recounted in emails and legal memos that were sent between Romney’s office and the Department of Public Health.
Requiring a high-level legal review for same-sex parents continued through the rest of Mitt Romney’s term as governor, despite a warning from a Department of Public Health lawyer, who stated that the system placed the children of same-sex parents at an unfair disadvantage.
Newser notes that birth certificates in Massachusetts were only changed after Governor Deval Patrick took office in 2007. This information reflects a hard stance that the former governor took on gay marriage, despite initially being moderate when he ran for Senate in 1994. In 2005, Mitt Romney was quoted as saying:
“Some gays are actually having children born to them. It’s not right on paper. It’s not right in fact. Every child has a right to a mother and father.”
While the majority of the birth certificate requests were honored, one which asked that the handwritten alteration say “wife” instead of second parent was denied. Another was refused because the same-sex couple wasn’t married.
There have been no comments from the Mitt Romney campaign regarding the birth certificate block.