Romney Forced Gay Parents to Alter Birth Certificates by Hand

He took a stand against gay parents in Massachusetts
By Neal Colgrass,  Newser Staff
Posted Oct 26, 2012 6:22 PM CDT
Romney Forced Gay Parents to Alter Birth Certificates by Hand
Mitt Romney campaigns on Thursday, Oct. 25, 2012, in Cincinnati, Ohio.   (AP Photo/Charles Dharapak)

As Massachusetts governor, Mitt Romney refused to let the state alter its birth certificates for gay parents—forcing couples to cross out "father" and write "second parent" in ink, the Boston Globe reports. A Department of Public Health lawyer warned that such hand-written alterations hurt "the integrity of the vital record-keeping system"—and might give children problems "later in life"—but Romney held firm. What's more, his office insisted on reviewing each request for a birth certificate by gay parents.

That's how the Globe uncovered Romney's stance on birth certificates—by obtaining records of his administration's back-and-forth on each case with the health department. Only after Gov. Deval Patrick took office in 2007 were the certificates formally changed. Romney initially promised a moderate stance on gay rights when running for the Senate in 1994, but his position hardened, particularly leading up to his 2008 run for the presidency. "Some gays are actually having children born to them," he said in 2005. "It’s not right on paper. It’s not right in fact. Every child has a right to a mother and father." (More Mitt Romney stories.)

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