Equality

Mitt Romney as Opposed to Gay Marriage as Michele Bachmann and Rick Santorum

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We’ve been watching reactions all day about the fact that Michele Bachmann and Rick Santorum signed a National Organization for Marriage pledge to eradicate gay marriage in the United States, in the event they become President.

There is little newsworthy about this development, except to see NOM somewhat unexpectedly emerge, fresh from their defeat in New York state, as a national player in Republican primaries.

However, as Jeremy Hooper pointed out over at Good As You, it is somewhat surprising to see that Mitt Romney has signed NOM’s pledge, too.

Now, Romney is about as consistent on gay rights as he is on abortion or universal healthcare. But he’s given tepid lip service to supporting gay rights since 1994, and it’s worth noting he refused to sign a similar pledge just last month in Iowa.

Why the latest flip-flop? Despite the American public shifting greatly on the issue since 2004, will gay marriage be the Republican primary turnout issue of 2012? When it comes to forcing Republican candidates into signing pledges, is Maggie Gallagher the new Grover Norquist, and NOM the new Americans for Tax Reform?

Again, Romney is hardly Harvey Milk with movie star hair. But in the Republican primary pack, he’s about as “centrist” as they come. So it’s interesting to see him pledging a constitutional amendment against gay marriage, just a month after backing away from the anti-gay crowd.

The full pledge is below, via Joe My God.

sthrasher@villagevoice.com | @steven_thrasher
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