Mitt Romney Kinda Sorta Maybe Supports Gay Rights

During a cozy getaway with the Log Cabin Republicans at a Virginia farmhouse last week, Mitt Romney allegedly came around on some important LGBT issues. Of course, he was riding a carousel at the time, so where he’ll stop nobody knows.

Log Cabin Executive Director R. Clarke Cooper told The Nation‘s Ben Adler that the governor not only supports ending workplace discrimination – though not necessarily the “current form“of the Employee Non-Discrimination Act – but also gay adoption, hospital visitation rights for same sex couples and the repeal of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell.”

Adler then points out that “the Romney campaign has undermined Cooper’s claims on two of those”:

Back in May, Romney told Fox News that “[gay couples] have a right,” to adopt children. But the very next day he told CBS affiliate WBTV in Charlotte, North Carolina, that he was observing a national consensus, not asserting a belief of his own. “That’s a position which has been decided by most of the state legislatures,” said Romney. “So I simply acknowledge the fact that gay adoption is legal in all states but one.”

Regarding hospital visitation rights, Romney surrogate Bay Buchanan said after Monday’s presidential debate that Romney believes decisions on gay marriage and related issues such as hospital visitation and adoption should be left up to the states. This was off-message to both the right and the left. It blatantly contradicts Romney’s pledge to support a federal ban on gay marriage. But it also implies that Romney would reverse the Obama administration’s 2010 executive order requiring hospitals participating in Medicare and Medicaid to recognize the visitation rights of gay couples.

Buchanan later clarified her statements, insisting that she had “referred to the Tenth Amendment only when speaking about these kinds of benefits – not marriage.” Romney does support a federal ban on same-sex marriage but believes the issues of hospital visitation rights and gay adoption should be left up to the state.

This wavering between “ultra-conservative” and “relatively moderate,” however, threatens to alienate the ultra conservatives, like American Family Association nut-job Bryan Fischer. Adler rang up Fischer, who had this to say about a possible deal with LCR:

“If Governor Romney gives up any ground on ENDA that is a huge problem for social conservatives. ENDA will do to every Christian businessman in America what Obama’s abortion mandate does to hospitals, which is robs them of religious freedom and freedom of conscience and their constitutional right to freedom of association. I think if a President Romney were to give an impetus to an ENDA-like bill that would create a firestorm in his conservative base. It would not be smart politics for him to do that, as well as being wrong.”

Fischer later tweeted that “we need a clear, unambiguous, no loophole denial from Gov. Romney that he will support ENDA as president.” But, hey, if Bryan Fischer wants a “flat emphatic, unambiguous denial from Romney himself,” Romney should just give it to him, then take it back when R. Clarke Cooper is looking. It’s not cheating if you don’t get caught…or if you’re a Mormon. So if Mitt Romney continues to get in bed with both of them, he should really put a ring on it.