Wow! Today is not a good day for Mitt Romney. First the Washington post comes out with a major article on his career as a bully and gay bash in high school and now Talking Points Memo has learned that Romney was so up-tight about Boston’s gay parade in 2006, that he threatened to get rid of an LGBT anti-bullying commission formed by previous Republican Governor Bill Weld in 1992 after he learned about the shocking rate of suicide among gay school children.
Check this out from a May 12, 2006 Boston Globe article (via TPM):
Angered that his name appeared on a press release touting a gay pride parade, Governor Mitt Romney moved yesterday to curtail the activities of a 14-year-old advisory commission on gay and lesbian youth.
The commission chairwoman, Kathleen M. Henry, said she was called yesterday by Beth Myers, the governor’s chief of staff, who told her that the governor planned to issue an executive order ”revoking our existence” and creating another youth commission whose purview would be all of the state’s youth, not just gays and lesbians. The commission would have all new members, she said.
Romney later backed down after being “inundated…with outrage.”
Administration sources said Romney’s aides were angered by an ”unauthorized” news release issued by the commission March 27 announcing this weekend’s Youth Pride parade. The release, which described the celebration of ”gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender, and queer youth and their supporters,” went out on official state stationery, with the names of Romney and Lieutenant Governor Kerry Healey appearing with the names of the commission chairwoman and vice chair.
They were apparently also freaked out by a meeting with Brian Camenker, a right wing “activist,” who showed them pictures of the previous year’s parade and suggested Romney wouldn’t go over well as a national candidate if he lent his name to such shocking goings-on.
”Last year [at the parade] they had boys in fishnet stockings and high heels parading down Boylston Street,” Camenker said. ”They had boys dressed as women embracing. We presented stuff, and they were visibly sickened by what they saw. I said, basically, this group has to go. It’s so manifestly destructive to kids that you have to get rid of it. They said they’d do something.”
Allowing the commission to remain in existence demonstrates ”pure cowardice on the governor’s part,” he said. ”This shows that Romney probably doesn’t have what it takes to run the country if he can’t even make a decision about this.”
Eventually the anti-bullying group started an independent commission so they wouldn’t have to deal with Romney’s squeamishness about homosexuality. And this guy is running around the country claiming President Obama is living in the past.
Feel free to use this as an open thread.