A new account detailing Mitt Romney's interactions with same-sex couples was published Tuesday, alleging that the former governor had an uncomfortable meeting with several of the plaintiffs in Goodridge v. Dept of Public Health, the landmark case that legalized same-sex marriage in Massachusetts.
According to a story in Boston Spirit magazine, Romney met with the plaintiffs in 2004 after the then-governor endorsed a constitutional amendment barring same-sex couples from obtaining marriage licenses. According to those present at the meeting, Romney showed little interest in hearing them plead their case.
Boston Spirit's Scott Kearnan reports:
“It was like talking to a robot. No expression, no feeling,” recalls David Wilson, one of the plaintiffs in the case who met with Romney that day. “People were sharing touching stories, stories where you’d expect recognition in the other person’s face that they at least hear what you’re saying — that there’s empathy. He didn’t even shake his head. He was completely blank.”
Occasionally Romney would say something.
“I didn’t know you had families,” remarked Romney to the group, according to Wilson. The offhanded remark underscored that Romney, the governor of the first state prepared to grant same-sex marriage, hadn’t taken the time to look at what the landmark case was really about.
Julie Goodridge, the lead plaintiff in the Massachusetts case, has previously come forward with her account of the meeting. In a video released in July by super PAC American Bridge 21st Century and the Courage Campaign, Goodridge recalls Romney dismissing her concern over what she would tell her daughter if the state overturned her marriage.
"I don't really care what you tell your adopted daughter," Romney allegedly responded. Why don't you just tell her what you've been telling her for the last eight years?"
After President Obama announced his support for same-sex marriage earlier this year, Romney reiterated his belief that marriage is only between a man and a woman.
"If two people of the same gender want to live together, want to have a loving relationship and even want to adopt a child, in my state individuals of the same sex were able to adopt children," Romney said in May. "In my view that's something which people have the right to do, but to call that marriage is ... a departure for the real meaning of that word."