Among my gay friends and acquaintances, all but the most partisan Democrats have expressed dissatisfaction with the president, with some moderates deeming him a failure, others seeing him not up to the task of running the federal government and serving as the nation’s chief of state.
Now, to be sure, some will end up voting for Barack Obama this fall largely because he is the leading non-Republican candidate for president, but others have shown an openness to supporting Mitt Romney, some of them (entrepreneurs themselves) citing his experience in the private sector, others because he strikes them as relatively moderate . . . particularly in comparison to his chief opponent for the Republican nomination.
In some ways, that is perhaps the greatest irony of the Santorum surge these last seven weeks. Contrasting that former Senator’s strange statements on homosexuality to Mitt Romney’s muted expressions of tolerance makes that latter appear more compelling by contrast. Recall the former Massachusetts governor’s answer (in the ABC/Yahoo!/WMUR New Hampshire debate) to Diane Sawyer’s question about what he would say to a gay couple “sitting down in your living room” about the longing for “gay people to form loving, committed, long-term relationships”:
Well, the answer is, is that’s a wonderful thing to do, and that there’s every right for people in this country to form long- term committed relationships with one another. That doesn’t mean that they have to call it marriage or they have to receive the — the approval of the state and a marriage license and so forth for that to occur.
There can be domestic partnership benefits or — or a contractual relationship between two people, which would include, as — as Speaker Gingrich indicated, hospital visitation rights and the like. We can decide what kinds of benefits we might associate with people who form those kind of relationships, state by state.
Certainly not the ideal answer nor even the good compromise his fellow former governor Jon Huntsman articulated, but a decent answer nonetheless. And one which recognized the capacity of gay men and women to form loving and lasting relationships.
NB: My suggestion that a good number of gay people are open to Mitt Romney is not based on polling data, but anecdotal evidence. [Read more…]