Wednesday, September 12, 2012
Sometimes all I can do is scratch my head in disbelief.
In 2004, when Mitt Romney was governor of Massachusetts after the Supreme Judicial Court cleared the way for same-sex couples to obtain marriage licenses in Massachusetts, Gov. Romney remained a roadblock, endorsing a constitutional amendment that would ban it.
Julie Goodridge and other plaintiffs in the landmark case had written a letter to the governor asking for a meeting. He ignored it, so they staged a press conference at his office to read the letter to the media. Finally, that got Romney’s attention and into his office. Once inside, they were shocked.
For about 20 frustrating minutes, according to those in attendance who Boston Spirit interviewed recently, they shared their stories, pleaded their case, and tried to explain how equal marriage would protect them and their families. Romney sat stone-faced and almost entirely silent.
“Is there anything else?” Romney asked when they finished. With that, the meeting was over.
“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.”
Finally Romney remarked, “I didn’t know you had families.”
The offhanded remark underscored the fact 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. By this point the plaintiff’s stories had been widely covered by national media, in particular, Julie Goodridge’s heartrending tale of how her then-partner, Hillary, was denied hospital visitation following the precarious birth of daughter Annie. It was the ignorance of these facts and Romney’s inaccurate, insensitive answer to her parting question, that pushed Julie Goodridge to her breaking point.
“I looked him in the eye as we were leaving,” recalls Goodridge. “And I said, ‘Governor Romney, tell me, what would you suggest I say to my 8 year-old daughter about why her mommy and her ma can’t get married because you, the governor of her state, are going to block our marriage?’”
His response, according to Goodridge: “I don’t really care what you tell your adopted daughter. Why don’t you just tell her the same thing you’ve been telling her the last eight years.”
SOURCE: Boston Spirit