Video: Romney supports “gay rights”, but not gay marriage

Illustrated rainbow pride flag on a white background.

US Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney has responded to claims by the Obama administration that he has constantly changed his position on LGBT equality.

The former governor of Massachusetts told the Nashua Telegraph that he hasn’t “flip-flopped” on the issue: “The story on same sex marriage is that I have the same position from when I ran in the very beginning.

“I’m in favour of traditional marriage. I oppose same-sex marriage. At the same time, I don’t believe in discriminating in employment or opportunity for gay individuals.

“So I favour gay rights. I do not favour same-sex marriage. That has been my position all along.”

During his time in office, Romney actively battled against same-sex marriage.

He took steps toward blocking town clerks from issuing licenses to gay couples who were not state residents.

However, the 64-year-old previously maintained a progressive stance in other areas.

During Romney’s unsuccessful bid for the late Ted Kennedy’s senate seat in 1994, and again during his successful campaign for governor in 2002, he ran as a staunch LGBT ally.

Romney vowed to end workplace discrimination against the state’s gay community and promised to support civil partnerships for same-sex couples.

Since he began campaigning for the presidency in 2008, and again in 2011, Romney’s support for the LGBT community has waned.

Last week, he signed a pledge from the National Organization for Marriage, promising to roll back same-sex marriage with a constitutional amendment.

He has also repeatedly criticised the decision to repeal America’s ban on openly gay soldiers.