Dear LGBT supporters of Mitt Romney,
A recent report by the Williams Institute at UCLA found that approximately 22 percent of LGBT registered voters support former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney. I'm not in that 22 percent, but you are. I want to discuss a few issues to explain why I'm not, and why, even without knowing you, I believe it's against your and our country's interest for you to cast your vote for Romney.
1. Bullying and LGBT Youth
If you care about anti-bullying efforts and LGBT youth, please know that Romney fought the Massachusetts Department of Public Health's "Guide to Bullying Prevention," to the point that it could not be published until after he left office. Apparently, bullying LGBT kids is OK to Romney.
Former Massachusetts Gov. William Weld, a Republican, created the first state commission in the country to concern itself with issues affecting LGBT youth, but Romney vetoed a budget line item to help victims of anti-LGBT violence and boost suicide prevention efforts. I'm all in favor of cutting government spending, but fiscal responsibility means fiscal responsibility for the consequences of your cuts. Cut funding across the board; don't single out line items and publications that seek not only to prevent violence against a targeted group but to keep young people alive.
But Romney has never been an advocate for peace. Instead, he has demonstrated a lust for initiating the use of force against many people, not only LGBT people but foreign nations, without congressional approval, despite the U.S. Constitution saying otherwise (Article I, Section 8).
2. Relationship Recognition and Economics
Mitt Romney supports a federal constitutional amendment that would permanently prohibit the federal government from recognizing same-sex marriages. And he doesn't stop there. Romney wants to eliminate civil unions. He doesn't want you or your family members to exist as a legal entity (but he wants corporations to be able to do so). The lifetime financial and economic impacts of this matter are far more profound than any tax cuts you believe Romney may send your way.
Romney justified his opposition to recognizing LGBT relationships by telling a U.S. veteran that "at the time the Constitution was written, it was pretty clear that marriage is between a man and a woman. And I don't believe the Supreme Court has changed that." But what's also "pretty clear" is that under Romney's logic, only the religions that existed at the time of the nation's founding deserve First Amendment protections, which excludes Romney's Mormon faith, which didn't exist at the nation's founding. Of course, the rights to both existed, as the Constitution protected the government from infringing on individual rights (see Amendments 9 and 10) at the time of the nation's founding. Romney wants to change the fundamental role of government from securing liberty for us to using government's force to eliminate liberty for us.
Speaking of Romney's Mormon faith, as an adult, Romney voluntarily remained in an organization that prevented black people from being religious leaders, in part because the Mormon faith had considered blacks inferior since the time of Brigham Young himself. As Andrew Sullivan recently demonstrated, Romney never has repudiated that position:
[I]n a complete inversion of Jesus's teaching that those least valued on earth will be celebrated in heaven, we have vile racial supremacism on earth and heaven. This is not a deviation from Christianity but its total inversion. The inherent spiritual-racial iniquity of blacks places them at the very bottom of the pile on earth, and they will achieve salvation only in the hereafter -- and then only after every other race has had their turn.
Meanwhile, in modern times (i.e., this year), Mormons have attempted to "convert" or "baptize" dead people who were of other faiths. For example, Mormons attempted to posthumously convert/baptize Jews who were slaughtered in the Holocaust (perhaps most offensively including Anne Frank). If President Obama's faith-based relationship with Rev. Jeremiah Wright remains relevant to our political discourse, then so do Romney's faith-based relationships.
4. Romney Disregarded the Rules to Disenfranchise Many Republican Convention Delegates
At the Republican National Convention this year, Romney's team was able to disenfranchise duly elected Republican convention delegates. Just as Romney stated that he could take our nation into another unnecessary war without congressional approval, despite our Constitution requiring otherwise, Romney's Republican National Convention tactics revealed that he indeed has no regard for rules, even within his own Republican Party.
5. A Real Alternative in a Two-Term Republican Governor
An alternative to this nonsense exists. Romney was a single-term governor in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. Gary Johnson was a twice-elected governor in New Mexico, a Democratic-leaning state. Unlike Mitt Romney, Barack Obama, George W. Bush, Bill Clinton and George H. W. Bush, Gary Johnson did not receive a degree from an Ivy League school. He earned his college degree from a state school. And before becoming governor, Johnson was a hugely successful entrepreneur whose company created countless jobs by making real products, not by vulture investing, taking advantage of tax shelters practically unavailable to most Americans, shipping jobs overseas or terminating corporations for scrap value. (If "corporations are people, my friend," then perhaps a prosecutor should charge Romney with murder for those corporations he terminated.) Gary Johnson understands business and job creation, not only investor wealth creation.
When Johnson came into office, he inherited a budget deficit. He left eight years later with a budget surplus and helped create a business-friendly environment in New Mexico that was far better than what Romney accomplished as governor of Massachusetts. Johnson cut taxes 14 times and vetoed over 700 spending bills while in office. Romney, however, enacted the largest tax in the history of Massachusetts, called Romneycare.
Gary Johnson supports eliminating the IRS and its various discriminatory provisions, installing in its stead the consumption-based and personal privacy-enhancing Fair Tax. You can read about the Fair Tax in more detail in the congressional testimony of two well-regarded economics professors from Massachusetts.
Like Ron Paul's delegates at the Republican National Convention, Gary Johnson was railroaded out of the Republican primary debates. Certainly Herman Cain was more qualified to be on stage than the only twice-elected governor running for president in the Republican Party! After that maltreatment, Johnson left the GOP and earned the nomination of the Libertarian Party, where he will be on the ballot in at least 47 states, despite massive efforts by the Republican Party to exclude his name from the ballot.
Gov. Johnson favors peaceful foreign policy that is conservatively constrained within the bounds of the U.S. Constitution. Johnson favors the federal government's role in securing the rights of people in same-sex marriages to a greater degree than either Mitt Romney or President Obama.
Unlike President Obama and Mitt Romney, Johnson wants to end another ridiculous war and resource drain, the drug war. Johnson would stop cracking down on state businesses that legally sell marijuana under state law, and he would re-legalize marijuana, which would have tremendous positive medicinal and economic effects.
The reason we've gotten to where we are in this country today is that voters tend to believe that they must choose the lesser of two evils, thinking that making a principled vote for someone other than the Democrat or the Republican won't matter. What we've seen is that those unprincipled votes unquestionably lead to unprincipled government. Mitt Romney is not your answer; a principled vote is.
Holding your nose and voting for the candidate who you believe will take us to hell the slowest will still take us to hell. While I'm sure that many of you will want to comment that a vote for Gary Johnson is a "wasted vote," I'd rather waste my vote than waste my country and another generation of LGBT youth and adults by supporting an authoritarian Mitt Romney.