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Romney Didn’t Stop Bullying As A Kid, Went After LGBT Commission As Gov

Once a bully always a bully: Talking Points Memo has learned that an all-grown-up Gov. Mitt Romney went after a state-run gay-youth organization, decrying its involvement in a Pride parade and eventually putting the kibosh on the group.

Romney’s Republican predecessor, William Weld, created the Governor’s Commission on Gay and Lesbian Youth in 1992 to stem high LGBT-teen suicide rates and harassment in schools. In addition to providing teacher and administrator training, the commission funded GSAs throughout the state.

Two years after taking office, Romney started trying to dismantle the group:

Romney continued its existence upon taking office, but a rift began in 2005, when he vetoed a $100,000 increase in its budget, prompting the state legislature to overturn his move and restore funding. Conservative anti-gay activists, who had mobilized in the wake of the state’s gay marriage fight, publicly opposed the commission’s budget request.

Romney’s office reiterated at the time that the governor’s initial objection was over funding levels, and not the group’s goal of helping gay youth, which he supported.

Commission co-chair Kathleen Henry defended Romney, and the next year the governor doubled his requested funding for the group. But while the budget fight subsided, relations between the governor and commission collapsed in mid-2006, after the commission lent its name to materials promoting a long-running annual Pride parade for LGBT youth that it helped organize using private funds. Romney, incensed at being officially associated with a gay Pride event, threatened to dissolve the commission on the spot.

Guess that wasn’t the Pride parade Mitt was allegedly going to attend, huh?

Romney’s bitterness toward the commission seems to stem from Brian Camenker, then director of the Article 8 Alliance, a group fighting same-sex marriage in Massachusetts. Camenker showed Romney’s aides pictures of a Pride march where gay teens were apparently in drag. ”They had boys dressed as women embracing. We presented stuff, and they were visibly sickened by what they saw,” Camenker told the Boston Globe. “I said, basically, this group has to go.”

Oh well, if some nutbag from what the Southern Poverty Law Center calls a hate group says jump, you better ask “how high,” right? (Ironically Camenker later went after Romney for being too liberal.)

The commission didn’t fund the parade but Romney spokesman Eric Fehrnstrom said the Governor was troubled that an unauthorized press release on state letterhead was promoting an event “hosted by a crossdresser and celebrating, among other things, transgenderism.” Oddly, Romney had been supportive of similar marches in 2003 and 2004.

Of courses that was before he got stars in his eyes.

Romney backed down from killing the commission but decided he wanted to revamp it—so it wouldn’t specifically address the needs of LGBT victims of bullying—and bring in all new members. Democratic legislators, already furious over Romney’s threats, created a new committee, one focused on “school-based and community-based programs focusing on suicide prevention, violence intervention and the promotion of zero-tolerance policies regarding harassment and discrimination against gay and lesbian youth.” Wow—years before the rest of the country noticed gay kids were getting their asses kicked!

So what did Romney do? First he tried to veto approval for the new group. And when that didn’t work, he nixed the Governor’s Commission, claiming it was redundant.

In a really sad and twisted way, this anecdote will only serve to endear Romney to the reactionary GOP base, who’ve been worrying that he’s too damn soft on them homosexuals.

By:           Dan Avery
On:           May 11, 2012
Tagged: , ,
  • 28 Comments
    • Mark
      Mark

      “…..GOP base, who’ve been worrying that he’s too damn soft on them homosexuals.”

      Are you going to report the black vote in North Carolina went 2 to 1 for Amendment 1? Didn’t think so as Media Matters and Talking Points probably aren’t writing stories on it. “You know my bro, damn homos!”

      May 11, 2012 at 7:48 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • jason
      jason

      Romney was actually one of the most gay-friendly governors. He now supports adoption by gay people.

      May 11, 2012 at 9:02 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • R
      R

      @jason: And it doesn’t occur to you that he might be a liar? Considering he as late as 2005 tried to dismantle this group… and came with a half-arsed apology to the closeted gay kid.

      May 11, 2012 at 9:08 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • 1equalityUSA
      1equalityUSA

      Here’s a link to Rachel Maddow stringing together four disturbing incidences where Romney laughs when confrounted by cruel activities from his past.

      http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/26315908/ns/msnbc_tv-rachel_maddow_show/#47381279

      May 11, 2012 at 9:11 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • jason
      jason

      I always get a bit suspicious when people bring up 50 year old accusations. It seems a bit over-the-top.

      I think we’ve all done things that were mean when we were young. Face it – kids aren’t angels.

      May 11, 2012 at 9:16 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Belize
      Belize

      @jason: “Romney was actually one of the most gay-friendly governors. He now supports adoption by gay people.”

      Of course he does. He needs to in order to get “pink” votes from people like you–the cancerous side of the “pink” community.

      Also, I love how you pretty much copy paste your baseless pro-Romney comments. What’s the matter, kid? Can’t rationalize as to why you think Romney is “more gay friendly.” Here’s an advice: just say what’s on your heart. “I will vote for Romney because he’s a Republican and I’m a Republican. And, like any stubborn Republican too lazy to think for myself, I will continue my voting tradition.” See. It’s not that hard.

      @Mark: “Are you going to report the black vote in North Carolina went 2 to 1 for Amendment 1? Didn’t think so as Media Matters and Talking Points probably aren’t writing stories on it. “You know my bro, damn homos!”

      Unfortunately, the person who wrote this probably didn’t want to do it like you do–diverting the topic at hand as though that would erase the misdeeds of the one you are “parroting” for. Go get a real job. Once the election is over, I doubt that the PR firm handling Romney’s publicity would want to keep you. :)

      @R: “@jason: And it doesn’t occur to you that he might be a liar?”

      I doubt that things ever really occur to people like Jason anymore. He’s one of those left wing nutjobs. Once they reach a certain age, their brains stop taking in new information in fear that it may overload their simple mental faculties. I encourage you to be more understanding of our fellow LGBTs. Please. :)

      May 11, 2012 at 9:23 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • 1equalityUSA
      1equalityUSA

      Jason, Some of these mean things were this year. The man can’t shut the Hell up. It’s not in his DNA. Perhaps because he grew up in exclusive schools and privileged environments, he hasn’t the filter required to speak publicly. He has shown a twisted, warped view to the world around him starting as a youngster and this is staying with him, until now. It is disturbing. This man should not have power. He misuses his power.

      May 11, 2012 at 9:25 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Belize
      Belize

      @jason: “I always get a bit suspicious when people bring up 50 year old accusations.”

      LOL. 2005 happened 50 years ago?

      Thank you for proving my theory that right wing nutjobs like you are incapable of taking in new information while fearing that it may ruin your simple mental faculties. Give it up, kid.

      May 11, 2012 at 9:26 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Belize
      Belize

      @1equalityUSA: “exclusive schools and privileged environments,”

      I resent that. I grew up in an exclusive school with privileged environments but I didn’t turn out like THAT. Let’s just call it as it is: the man is a MORON (No, I did not misspell that last word.)

      May 11, 2012 at 9:28 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Mark
      Mark

      Romney as a high school kid bullies a high school kid.

      Obama as a President bullies Bank of America, Exxon, Shell Oil, Wal Mart and small businesses like mine promising taxes that will make them suffer “for the benefit of those who have not”.

      Guess who loses the most votes there, Sherlock. The man is gone. We’ve tried socialism, it was amusing, it failed. Period.

      May 11, 2012 at 9:51 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Cam
      Cam

      @Mark: said…

      “Are you going to report the black vote in North Carolina went 2 to 1 for Amendment 1? Didn’t think so as Media Matters and Talking Points probably aren’t writing stories on it. “You know my bro, damn homos!””
      _______________________

      Mark has been on all of these posts trying to do EXACTLY what the papers from NOM said they were going to try to do. Deflect and drive wedges.

      Mark, curious, you didn’t bother to post a link. Convenient. Especially since this was a major GOP primary the actual numbers of blacks voting was quite low….oh wait, guess you left that part out as well.

      May 11, 2012 at 10:02 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Cam
      Cam

      @jason: said..

      “Romney was actually one of the most gay-friendly governors. He now supports adoption by gay people.”
      ____________

      Jason, You have told this lie multiple times. Since I have refuted it each time I have to assume that you know you are lying but don’t care because your job is to come on here and post.

      Romney, while governor, not only found and brought up a law from over 100 years ago to prevent out of state couples (Gay) from getting married in MA. But also asked Congress for an Amendment to the U.S. Constitution against gay marriage. He wanted to change the highest source of law in this country to enshrine bigotry and yet you claim he was friendly.

      As for Romney supporting gay adoptions now, can you make it more obvious that you rep the Romney campaign? That announcement was released publicly about 2o min. ago and yet your posting was from before that. Interesting how you knew about that announcement so early isn’t it?

      Look, Romney hates gays, he said he wouldn’t have signed the Don’t Ask Don’t Tell repeal, he is opposed to gay marriage.

      May 11, 2012 at 10:07 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • 1equalityUSA
      1equalityUSA

      Belize, some are able to have the experience you described and not have it influence their empathy for others. Some have inferiority complexes and ‘new money madness’ that brings out the worst in them, irrespective of their education. My suspicion is that your parents may have been good eggs. Romney’s parents raised a sociopathic child who was never taught how to treat others. The Mormon Church’s teaching may have greatly contributed to Romney’s and his parents’ notion that some human beings are of lesser value than others. The man abuses his power. This, coupled with privileges of newly begotten wealth, created a mouth that blurts out inordinately callous, insensitive remarks. He laughs with glee when asked about his past cruelty. His wealth, talk of Cadillacs x 2, loving to fire people (who loves to fire people?) and his treatment of the family dog, and his brutalizing gay children in Prep school, and his constant attacks on LGBT, his inability to take sincere culpability for these injurious actions all compile together to make him out to be a sociopath

      Definition:
      so·ci·o·path/?s?s???paTH/
      Noun:
      A person with a personality disorder manifesting itself in extreme antisocial attitudes and behavior and a lack of conscience.

      May 11, 2012 at 10:17 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Clockwork
      Clockwork

      A “state-run gay-youth organization” called the “Governor’s Commission on Gay and Lesbian Youth” created original by Republican William Weld is a waste of money.

      A wise governor would not spend a $100,000 on this type of organization.

      May 11, 2012 at 10:21 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Cam
      Cam

      @Clockwork:

      And your evidence that it is a waste? And for your information. The Governor who created that was also a republican.

      May 11, 2012 at 10:36 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Clockwork
      Clockwork

      @Cam:
      >And for your information. The Governor who created that was also a republican.

      I pointed this out in my post fool, see “Republican William Weld is a waste of money”

      It’s a waste of money because a program to reduce suicide and harassment of children should not be broken down by demographic, it should focus on prevention and education on all children. That is called treating all youth equally.

      May 11, 2012 at 10:45 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Cam
      Cam

      @Clockwork: said..

      “It’s a waste of money because a program to reduce suicide and harassment of children should not be broken down by demographic, it should focus on prevention and education on all children. That is called treating all youth equally.”
      _________________________________

      Actually that is wrong. If the causes of one group of children’s suicides are poverty and the cause for the other groups are bullying and being kicked out of their houses, then no, treating them equally is idiotic. It is like treating appendicitis and a broken foot the same way.

      May 11, 2012 at 10:49 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • ScaryRussianHeather
      ScaryRussianHeather

      “In a really sad and twisted way, this anecdote will only serve to endear Romney to the reactionary GOP base, who’ve been worrying that he’s too damn soft on them homosexuals.”

      When did this happen? When he said that states could protect civil union rights and he wasn’t for gay marriage?

      This particular governor is a big ole bully. Not like the others, say, Chris Christie, Jan Brewer, Rick Perry, or Andrew Cuomo – who had a huge LGBT controversy just last year.

      Cuomo’s Wiki:
      “In early 2011, Cuomo first came under criticism for proposing cutting all funding for New York State programs that support homeless and runaway youth from 6.1 million to 2.3 million: a level not seen since the 1980s. The 70% cut from two years before would leave thousands of youth in New York City without shelter beds”. Carl Siciliano, who runs a New York shelter, said “Governor Cuomo’s budget proposal is bad news for the 1,600 homeless LGBT youth stranded on the streets of New York each night without access to a shelter bed. These youth, who suffer horribly and whose lives are in danger, deserve the attention and concern of their governor no less than the other members of our community. Critics also pointed out that according to the US Justice Department, one in three runaway teens without a place to sleep are forced into prostitution within 48 hours.”

      Since 40% of homeless youth are LGBT, did Queerty run a “bully” piece on Cuomo last year? Save yourself the search, no. *crickets*.

      Hypocritical focus on one political party and cutting slack to your favorite politicians makes the media the WORST offenders when it comes to equality or any other political issue. If the media did it’s job correctly, ALL politicians would be lambasted constantly and the public would be forced to address it, rather than pretend it’s just one side that’s a bunch of scum bags and liar. Then again I’m using the term media loosely here.

      Oh wait. I get it. the parade element of Romney’s cuts as governor is SO MUCH MORE IMPORTANT than Cuomo’s budget cuts against LGBT homeless youths’ shelter and safety.

      May 11, 2012 at 10:58 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • MikeE
      MikeE

      @1equalityUSA: Thank-you for posting that video.
      It most definitely points to strong evidence that Romney has sociopathic tendencies.

      May 11, 2012 at 11:07 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Outraged
      Outraged

      Tell Republicans to keep their Mitts off our kids!

      May 11, 2012 at 11:21 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Outraged
      Outraged

      “did Queerty run a “bully” piece on Cuomo last year”

      Cuomo was a major-party nominee for president last year? Wow, you learn something new every day.

      May 11, 2012 at 11:22 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • w.e.
      w.e.

      It’s the same pattern of bullying still going on the republican party today. Nothing has changed, and neither has Romney. Spoiled rich kid who can get away with whatever he wants.

      May 11, 2012 at 12:41 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • LandStander
      LandStander

      @jason: No, kids are not angels. I was not an angel. But I never gathered a group of boys together, pinned down a kid and forcibly cut his hair while he cried.

      Yes, kids do stupid things (including me). But the stupid things I did never involved me taking scissors to another human being while they cried in front of a crowd.

      May 11, 2012 at 7:28 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • 1equalityUSA
      1equalityUSA

      Landstander, And then, 48 years later, nervously laugh about it and call such an act, “A prank.” The fact that Strap-the-dog-to-the-roof-Romney is diminishing this as a “prank,” as a grown adult, is worse than the original offense.

      May 12, 2012 at 8:15 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Hyhybt
      Hyhybt

      @Mark: The overall vote was close enough to 2 to 1 that it doesn’t matter.

      May 12, 2012 at 2:39 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • SSGestapo
      SSGestapo

      So the next President of the US made a sissy cry in high school….after I stop laughin then i will be able to comment further on the absolute hysterical data that projects itself from the fruitcake community in batches of gay hysteria…..f–kin fruits

      May 12, 2012 at 10:12 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Riker
      Riker

      I had originally planned on voting for Romney; now things are much more complicated. I’ll have o wait until the debates and the inevitable October Surprise to make my decision.

      May 13, 2012 at 11:13 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • B
      B

      No. 26 · SSGestapo wrote, “So the next President of the US made a sissy cry in high school …” Actually, the next hopefully wannabe president showed that he laughs when he is obviously lying. That’s a very interesting thing to know about him, particularly if you are someone like Vladamir Putin, who could end up negotiating with Romney if we are unfortunate enough to have Romney elected.

      Do you really want Romney representing you in negotiations with other heads of state?

      May 15, 2012 at 1:16 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·

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