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January 16, 2008

Column #1,377

“Report Card on the Natural Family”

by Mike McManus

            Mitt Romney won his first major Republican primary, with 39 percent vs McCain’s 30 percent and Huckabee’s 16.  However, he scored an F on a “Report Card on the Natural Family” released Wednesday, with seven wrong positions on marriage, gay adoption and protecting the natural family.

            By contrast, McCain’s record registers four positive votes on the same issues and, Huckabee, seven positive votes. These differences need to be considered by South Carolina and Nevada voters Saturday, Floridians January 29, and in 22 states on February 5.

            The “Campaign for Children and Families,” a Sacramento, CA group issuing the Report Card, said “It’s time for voters to get the facts on where candidates stand on the natural family - a father, mother, and their children.” (See

            Huckabee’s strong stand on such issues helped him win the Iowa caucuses. However,   Mitt Romney persuaded Michigan voters, with America’s highest unemployment rate (7.4 percent), to vote for him by pledging to help the auto industry.

            In New Hampshire, McCain won the primary by emphasizing his lifelong experience on military and international issues, where both Huckabee and Romney offer little.

            Historically, Republicans have won the Presidency only when supported by three different types of conservatives - social, economic and international. Thus far, three different candidates have won three different states, splintering the needed coalition.

            However, Romney, who came in second in the two races he lost, has made the best case that he can satisfy all thee elements of the conservative coalition.  He acknowledges changing his position on abortion, which he once supported and now endorses the Federal Marriage Amendment which would limit marriage to one man and one woman.

            However, when the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court ruled that the state constitution prohibited limiting marriage to opposite genders, “It was Governor Mitt Romney who was ultimately responsible for same-sex `marriages’ taking place.” The Court “issued an opinion and advised the Legislature to act (which it never did),” reported

            “Even the Court acknowledged that it had no power to change the law. Governor Romney created these `marriages’ through an unconstitutional and illegal directive to his Department of Public Health (to print new `marriage’ licenses), and through his legal counsel threatened to fire any Town Clerk or Justice of the Peace who failed to implement the (non-existent) `new law.’ “

            The AP reported on April 25, 2004 that Romney’s new marriage applications replaced “bride” and “groom” with “Party A” and “Party B.”

            Romney did support a Massachusetts Marriage Amendment to ban gay marriage. Some 22 House Republicans “opposed every measure that would grant gay couples civil unions in the constitution,” reported the Boston Globe. “That all changed yesterday, however, when 15 of that 22-member bloc broke away at the urging of Governor Mitt Romney and voted in favor of a proposed amendment that would ban gay marriage but permit Vermont-style civil unions.” 

          However, in speaking in South Carolina, he told Republicans Feb. 23, 2005 that he’s “always been opposed to same-sex marriage as well as what he called `its equivalent, civil unions’.” At that time he was pushing for the Massachusetts amendment that DID provide for civil unions.. Mass State Rep. Phil Travis told AP “Romney can’t be for civil unions when he’s in Massachusetts and against them when he is out-of-state.” (Yes, he can.)

            Rudy Giuliani has opposed the Federal Marriage Amendment, and as mayor signed a law to “ensure that the city treats domestic partners the same as married couples, a law gay advocates called the most comprehensive of its type in the nation,” AP reported in 1998. However, he opposed New Hampshire’s civil union law in April, 2007.

            John McCain voted against amending the U.S. Constitution to protect marriage for a man and a woman in 2004. He did support an Arizona Marriage Amendment in 2005.  In 2007 he said he was a “federalist” who recognized the right of each state “to regulate the institution of marriage.”  He’s a weathervane who blows with each state’s winds.

            By contrast, Huckabee led a successful fight for a state constitutional amendment that limited marriage to a man and a woman.  He opposed civil unions.  And because of Arkansas’ high divorce rate, he declared a “marital emergency” and supported creating Community Marriage Policies that reduce divorce rates by 17.5 percent in 7 years, according to an independent study. (Disclaimer: I lead Marriage Savers which creates CMPs.).

            On other issues, Huckabee opposes homosexual couples adopting children, which Romney supports. McCain has no stand.  McCain and Huckabee both oppose forcing private business owners to hire open homosexuals and oppose pro-gay “hate crime” laws, while Romney supports both.

            (Democratic candidate positions are all pro-gay.)

            On Family Values issues, Huckabee wins hands down.

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