The Corner

The Warning From Massachusetts

Whatever happens in Massachusetts in the coming days and weeks, this is something I suspect you’ll be hearing more of from the soon-to-be-former-governor — and a message the GOP ought to be comfortable with. This is how he put it about a month ago in Boston:

Massachusetts is the front line on marriage, but unless we adopt a federal amendment to protect marriage, what is happening here will unquestionably enter every other state. The spreading religion of secularism and its substitute values cannot be allowed to weaken the foundation of family or the faith of our fathers who more than life their freedom loved.

Why protect marriage, you ask? Here’s more of what Romney said last month, speaking to an evangelical audience:

Here in Massachusetts, activist judges struck a blow to the foundation of civilization, the family. They ruled that our constitution requires same sex marriage. I believe their error occurred because they focused on adult rights. If adult heterosexual couples can marry, they reasoned, then to have equal rights, adult homosexual couples must also be able to marry. But marriage is not primarily about adults. Marriage is primarily about the nurturing and development of children. A child’s development is enhanced by the nurturing of both genders. Every child deserves a mother and a father. Of course, the principal burden of the Court’s ruling doesn’t fall on adults. It falls on children. We are asked to change the state birth certificate. To prevent “heterocentricity,” mother and father would become parent A and parent B. An elementary school teacher reads to her 2nd graders from a book titled “The King and King” about a prince who marries a prince. And a 2nd grader’s father is denied the right to have his child removed from class while that book is being read. Our state’s most difficult-to-place adoptive children may no longer be placed by Catholic charities because they favor homes where there’s a mother and a father.

The price of same sex marriage is paid by children. Our fight for marriage, then, should focus on the needs of children, not the rights of adults. In fact, as Americans, I believe that we should show an outpouring of respect and tolerance for all people, regardless of their differences or their different choices. We must vigorously reject discrimination and bigotry. We are all God’s children. He abhors none of us.

That’s a positive message and one essential to our culture. We’re at a moment where we’re going to have some long, difficult discussions about what’s conservative and what the GOP represents and should represent. These issues should not be cast aside. They cannot be.