Romney Slams Democrats’ Support of Gay-Themed Children’s Books

Mitt Romney has seized on a question to candidates at last night’s Democratic debate, which asked whether they would approve of their second-grader being read a book (I believe they were referring to the book King & King but the moderator referred to one in which a “prince…marries another prince”) which preaches tolerance about same-sex marriage.

KingkingToday, Romney released a statement condemning the candidates’ for supporting committed relationships and tolerance.

Said Romney in a press release today: “Last night’s debate was just the latest example of how out of touch the Democratic presidential candidates are with the American people. Not one candidate was uncomfortable with young children learning about same-sex marriage in the second grade. This is a subject that should be left to parents, not public school teachers. We need to strengthen our families by passing a federal marriage amendment and also insisting on marriage before having children. Change in Washington requires Democrats with the courage to stand-up to their ultra liberal base and do what’s right for our children.”

Here are transcripts of the Dems answers, according to the Romney website.

Edwards answered the question: “Yes, absolutely. What I want is I want my children to understand everything about the difficulties that gay and lesbian couples are faced with every day, the discrimination that they’re faced with every single day of their lives. And I suspect my two younger children – Emma Claire, who’s nine, and Jack, who’s seven — will reach the same conclusion that my daughter, Cate, who’s 25, has reached, which is she doesn’t understand why her dad is not in favor of same-sex marriage, and she says her generation will be the generation that brings about the great change in America on that issue. So I don’t want to make that decision on behalf of my children. I want my children to be able to make that decision on behalf of themselves, and I want them to be exposed to all the information, even in – did you say second grade? Second grade might be a little tough, but even in second grade to be exposed to all – to all of those possibilities because I don’t want to impose my view. Nobody made me God. I don’t get to decide on behalf of my family or my children, as my wife, Elizabeth, who’s spoken her own mind on this issue. I don’t get to impose on them what it is that I believe is right…”

Obama answered: “You know, I feel very similar to John: that – you know, the fact is, my 9-year-old and my 6-year-old’s – I think, are already aware that there are same-sex couples. And my wife and I have talked about it. And one of the things I want to communicate to my children is not to be afraid of people who are different, and because there have been times in our history where I was considered different, or Bill Richardson was considered different. And one of the things I think the next president has to do is to stop fanning people’s fears….”

And Clinton used a bit more caution: “Well, I – I really respect what both John and Barack said. I think that we’ve seen differences used for divisive purposes, for political purposes in the last several elections, and I think every one of us on this stage are really personally opposed to that and will do everything we can to prevent it. With respect to your individual children, that is such a matter of parental discretion. I think that obviously it is better to try to work with your children, to help your children the many differences that are in the world and to really respect other people and the choices that other people make, and that goes far beyond sexual orientation.”

King & King [amazon]

You may have missed…
King & King: Once Upon a Time in Massachusetts [tr]


  1. Cramps says

    For children at such a young age, it is important that parents take it upon themselves and use their personal discretion (to paraphrase Hillary) in being the first line of information regarding same sex couples. (Romney’s point is well-taken, but he sometimes uses a sledge hammer to drive home a thumb tack).

    I am virtually certain that there would be at least some parents who would object to this important topic being presented to their 6 year olds in the classroom.
    People have rights, but parents still have responsibilities. This is a case in point.

  2. Zeke says

    WOW, Is Romney now advocating a constitutional amendment to require people to be married before having children?

    How else does he plan to enforce “insisting on marriage before having children”?

    I’d love to see how quickly the self-righteous hetero moralists would jump off the “family values” train if the crusade suddenly turned in their direction.

  3. nyc2 says

    That’s right, Mitt! Keep spewing garbage! Now open the net to include straight couples having kids out of wedlock! Yes, call to ban that! Please do go on, you hot mess!

  4. says

    Romney said this?

    “We need to strengthen our families by passing a federal marriage amendment and also insisting on marriage before having children.”

    Insisting on marriage before childbirth? What does this mean? What plans does this man and his followers have in mind to enforce such a law? And this comes on the heels of the Jeffs Mormon-incest-child rape case?

    Personally, if you take the word “sex” out of this discussion, it lowers the temperature considerably. Kids who live in families with two daddies or mommies already attend schools. How is this affecting them?

    At what age does sex ed begin in America’s schools, anyway? Certainly not second grade.

    Sorry if this is unfocused but I’m rushing out the door.

  5. Derrick from Philly says

    Instead of speaking about the important issues which will effect the future of this country (and the world), Republicans want to use homos to get evangelical loonies to the polls. George Romney had integrity–supporting Civil Rights legislation when his party was against it. His son is despicable. But I’m preachin’ to the choir, aint I?

    Funny though, they tell me evangelicals still don’t trust Mormans. Good.

  6. Rey says

    I just visited my family in Iowa but my partner of 12 years couldn’t accompany me on this trip. One Sunday afternoon we were all sitting and talking in my grandparents’ living room and my brotherss kids – aged 7 and 4 – needed a little attention so my Mom started playing the “Guess Who I Am?” game where you ask yes/no questions to determine what person the player is thinking of.

    We went through Clifford the Big Red Dog, Dora, Brad Pitt (my 7 year old niece, of course), and a few family members.

    During one of my niece’s turns, she was asked, “Is this person a family member?” She started to say “yes”, but then stopped for a second doubting herself and looked at my mom (her grandma) and said a little hesitantly, “Yes, I’m sure he is.”

    After a couple of more questions, it was determined she was thinking about my partner. She looked at my mom after the successful guess and said, “So, he’s family, right?” My little nephew said, “Yes, he is,” as if there were no question. So my mom went on to explain how he isn’t her son, but just like my niece and nephew’s mom is not her daughter, she is still family because he and I love each other.

    And that was that.

    I just thank everything that is good in the world that my mom – and most of my family is so damned cool.

  7. Gregg says

    I can’t stand Hillary. Her non-answers are disgusting and cowardly. And, yeah, I know all you Hillary-lovers will say she needs to do what she needs to do to get elected. Fuck that. She’s an equivocating coward.

    Romney, on the other hand, is scum. I’m glad he keeps talking, because his insanity is made clearer and clearer. It’s really amazing that this was a press release, not just an off-the-cuff comment.

  8. Leland Frances says

    Moving story, Rey. Thank you for sharing it!

    As for “Cramps,” I want to believe that you didn’t mean to say that parents SHOULD censor such morally NEUTRAL reality from their children OR teach them that it ISN’T morally neutral.

    Regret Hil used the word “choices” in the same breath with “sexual orientation” but plenty of gays make the same mistake, too.

    Dems 10. Repugs 0. I would ask, “Is there NO limit to how low Romney will slither?” but the answer is already obviously NO. Alas, we can’t be so certain that normally Mormon-hating religious fascists won’t vote for him. Dobson may have dissed Romney but I believe it was the head of the Southern Baptists who said he could endorse him.

  9. SFshawn says

    Shit Romney is a man who tied the family dog to the roof of the car? He just reinforces what a sorry,pathetic group of losers we have for presidential candidates in 2008. He was just in California doing a few fundraising stops but avoided San Francisco since he knows nobody will listen to his sorry ass, much less give him $$$. If I see him on his knees giving a blowjob this weekend at the Folsom Street Fair I’ll be sure to get a few pix so another hypocrite can be exposed.

  10. says

    In my view and having suffered with him as my state’s Governor I find Mitt Romney to be public enemy #1 – not only to gay rights but also to the very foundational concepts of the Constitution as intended when written by our Founding Fathers.

    This is a new kind of rhetoric from the hugely-threatened “right” which must be addressed and redressed at every turn.

  11. joe says

    So what does Romney want us to do. We are a married gay couple in Massachusetts with two children and five grandchilden. So we are not suppose act married although we are legally married. When we go to any school programs with the grandchildren are we suppose to walk in apart from each other so the other children will not see us together. The school children do not see their parents other parents in a sexual way so why does Mitt think little children see a sex act when they look at us. This is his sick little view of the world. He must be a real sicko to think small children think of sex all time. Imagine what he taught his bunch of bigot kids. Better get a grip Mitt (we are well aware of his evil ways here in Massachusetts).

  12. my2cents says

    Romney’s comment brings to mind an article I read in the NYTimes a week or so ago… the article addressed the young men in a “fringe” Mormon sect who were thrown out of their community with nothing but the shirts on their backs because of some slight moral infraction… these young bucks were too much competition for the elders who wanted the girls in the community all to themselves.

    No children before marriage: this one is easy… marry off the girls at the first signs of puberty–a much more reliable way to prevent bastards than the traditional aspirin between the knees.

  13. adamblast says

    I’m bothered by Hillary’s non-answer. She keeps trying to tell us she really “gets it”–and supports our true equality in her gut. And yet every damn thing she says publicly screams otherwise–that her support of us is partial, and always contingent on political expediency.

    I’ve been veering towards her since the HRC forum. I may be veering away again since the Advocate interview (“Yes, I’m sincere when I say I’m against gay marriage”) and this current little slice of bet-hedging.

  14. Rich says

    Kids are going to learn about the existence of gay people and same sex marriage by the age of 7 whether it is from a book in school, or from parents, or from the internet, or form TV, or from friends. The cat is out of the bag.

    To try to control this info is wishful thinking. Parents have to face it. And because they have no choice, they will. Hell, my brothers kids are 5 and 3 and they already know their uncle lives with another guy and share a bed. Too early to tell if this has made them gay.

    Mitt Romney knows all this, but he’s just not saying. But what do you expect? I would not expect anything else from him.

    It’s funny, I was just talking to a friend of mine yesterday, who is married with 3 kids. And she told me her sister thinks her own 5 yr. old is gay. Various things are telling her, but this is a new development. It suggests a big difference in the way people think about gays. A welcome change, for when I was growing up, nobody thought their kid was gay until they somehow turned gay.

    Progress marches on slowly but surely.

  15. Leland Frances says

    What most people keep forgetting, but Hil’s only slightly more cautious answer proves she understands, is that contrary to all the sex-tinged images the country is drowned in each day, despite the fact that most parents not let their daughters appear in public in bare midriff tops and skirts so short that they would have been locked up and the key thrown away 50 years ago, and their sons slog down the street in pants hanging below their pubescent asses, and the movies and the music, etc., etc.———this is still one sick country when it comes to sex.

    Americans are erotiphobic before they are homophobic and they go bat shit crazy irrational when pre-puberty kids are concerned. They think young kids exposed to any talk related to sex is going to make them grow horns and their skin burst into boils and they lose control of their bowl and they’ll start raping each other in kindergarten, trying to stick their little hairless pencil dicks in little hairless Tiffany Sue on a bed of peanut butter and jelly sandwiches and apple juice sippy boxes. Think of all the opposition to straight sex education and condoms. They’d rather their little no necks get knocked up at 13 or die of AIDS than “eat of the tree of knowledge.”

    Whereas all the fairy tales about Snow White and her prince and Cinderella and her prince and Shrek and his princess are sexless to them, make it real fairies and they can’t think “two men” without thinking SEXXXXXXXXXXXXXX! That’s why they LUV Carson and Ross the Intern and William Sledd and Chris Crocker and Alec Mapa and Bobby Trendy and fill-in-the-blank. They can’t imagine them having dicks, let alone using them with another guy or woman.

    The storybook question is a curve ball. All the viable Dems, including Hil, are on record as supporting all of the clear issues of civil equality save marriage. So let’s stop wasting our time imagining and cluck clucking otherwise.

    537 Florida votes changed History.

  16. marco says

    Romney’s religon is moron, so this is no suprise. The guy who wants to double Guantanamo, thinks torture is a-ok and wants us to stay in Iraq forever says the Democrats are out of touch with the American people?


    And please, I am sure one of his sons will be outed sooner than later.

  17. Zeke says

    I just can’t get beyond Clinton’s “…choices that other people make, and that goes far beyond sexual orientation.” statement.

    What the huh?

    This is the woman who says she “gets it” when it comes to gay issues?


  18. Zeke says

    A couple of weeks ago a straight couple at my church bought King and King, its sequel King and King and Family, The Sissy Duckling and And Tango Makes Three and donated them to our church library.

    The church newsletter announced the donation, gave the books rave reviews and and encouraged everyone to check them out.

    Say all you want about kooky, hateful Christians; my predominantly straight congregation is awsome and does more than any group I know to support and promote gay rights, acceptance and full inclusion.

  19. Bill Perdue says

    Give us a break. Romney the protector of children? This man’s deceit is limitless.

    His Utah based fundraiser Robert Lichfield ran bigot christian youth ‘reeducation camps’ until Lichfield became a defendant in a federal lawsuit charging that students at these “behavior modification” camps suffer “physical abuse, emotional abuse and sexual abuse.” No doubt the worst abuse was reserved for the worst sinners -young gays and lesbians, some in their very early teens.

    The lawsuit claims the children ’were kicked, beaten, thrown to the ground, imprisoned in animal cages, made to eat their vomit, instructed to clean toilets with a toothbrush and then brush their teeth with it, and forced into sexual acts.’

    Romney own children, like the pampered brats of the rich and politically connected are cowards who refuse to enlist and risk combat in Iraq. Yet they and their chickenshit chickenhawk parents (the bad kind of chickenhawk) continue to support a war that’ chewing up young GI’s and Iraqi children at a ferocious rate.

    As for the Heir Apparent, Hillary, she’s cautious because if she tells us what she really thinks we’ll turn on her. She’ll go on slithering and sliding to stay on top in the polls and avoid upsetting the bigots.

  20. malcolm says

    When my youngest son was about 18, he told my partner and I that he and his older brother thought it was “fucked’ that we, his parents, did not show more emotion and affection in front of them as they were growing up.

    We did not do so because we thought it best that our children not verbalize what they might see between us and suffer the bigoted, malignant kind of ignorance represented by people like Mitt Romney.

    It was a real eye opener. They knew very early on that we were a couple, even though we went to great lengths to “protect” them, even having separate bedrooms. How much I learned and how much I regret in light of my sons tolerance and clear thinking.

    So, after 22 years together, I’ll be damned if I’ll let the Romneys and the Craigs take away my rights or my family. (And for good measure, my partner is a Christian…the kind Ronmey and his ilk are not).

  21. Zeke says

    All this faux concern for children’s welfare and fear of confusion is bogus, bogus, bogus!

    The REAL point and purpose of all this hiding of gay visibility is very simple. If you hide something from kids, or teach them that they shouldn’t be exposed to a certain thing, it sends a clear message to them that there is something wrong with, or unacceptable about, that thing. The younger the child, the more you hide and the longer you hide it, the deeper it is ingrained in him that the thing is improper, inappropriate, dangerous and taboo.

    THAT my friends is why the conservatives, the homophobes and the fundies want to hide us and our families. They want as much time as possible to ingrain prejudice and fear into their kids. It works with racism; it works with anti-Semitism; and it works with homophobia.

    Bigots aren’t born, their made!

    One good thing that my mother taught me was to never do anything that I am ashamed of.

    My husband and I decided years ago, before we had our son, that we would not hide our relationship or our affection for each other from him. We knew that if we did we would send him the message that we were ashamed of our relationship and would teach him to be ashamed of it us. Of course we don’t cross lines of common decency but we kiss and cuddle with and without him present. He’s the most well adjusted kid I know.

    Kids are much more accepting, resilient, intelligent and perceptive than we give them credit for. They are also not nearly as fragile as we let on. It’s adults, with a life-time of built up prejudices, that have issues with resilience, intelligence acceptance and perception and it’s f’d up adults who are so mentally, spiritually and psychologically fragile.

    MALCOLM, I can certainly understand why you made the decision you did. It sounds like you might be a bit older than me and I’m sure you were facing a world that I can’t even imagine. We really labored over the decision and considered taking the route you and your partner did. I think you made a tough and courageous decision and made a great sacrifice for the sake of your children. That’s what being a DAD is all about. I salute you for your commitment to your kids. It sounds like they have some great dads and it sounds like they turned out awesome!

    It’s people like you who gave me the hope and encouragement to pursue my dream of getting married to the man of my dreams and having kids. EVERYONE told me it couldn’t happen but because of people like you I knew they were wrong.

    You ROCK my friend!

  22. Zeke says

    Make that: “Bigots aren’t born, THEY’RE made”.

    When I type too fast my THEREs, THEIRs AND THEY’REs are the first thing to go.

  23. nic says

    rey, zeke and malcom,

    your personal anecdotes made my jaded eyes misty. my str8 nephew and niece (18 & 19) were members of their high-school’s gay/str8 alliance club, and they don’t care a whit about what other people do in bed.

    when my nephew was in his early teens, we were walking through the mall, and out of nowhere, he said, “you can tell me uncle, nic.” i asked him, “tell you what?” and he said, “you know.” and, yes, we both knew.

    the times, indeed, are changing.

    i want to echo leland’s thought. the worst of the dems is, by leaps and bounds, better than the best of the repugs. if a repug gets elected prez, he will appoint the next supreme. and that would be disastrous.

    it is not only our future that should concern us, but the future of our sons and daughters and our nieces and nephews. i want to think that my nephew and niece will live in a less hate-filled world.

    “there’s a new world coming,” not one that has anything to do with Revelation, but one that has everything to do with nina simone and mama cass. i have to believe that is true.

  24. says

    Screw Romney and his fake religion…

    Everyone knows Mormonism is a Fallacy …brought on by a schizophrenic…so-called prophet.

    Otherwise they wouldn’t harp on homosexuality like they do, …but then again, they may have been infiltrated by fundamentalists way before any other so-called religion was.

  25. says

    Screw Romney and his fake religion…

    Everyone knows Mormonism is a Fallacy …brought on by a schizophrenic…so-called prophet.

    Otherwise they wouldn’t harp on homosexuality like they do, …but then again, they may have been infiltrated by fundamentalists way before any other so-called religion was.

  26. says

    Screw Romney and his fake religion…

    Everyone knows Mormonism is a Fallacy …brought on by a schizophrenic…so-called prophet.

    Otherwise they wouldn’t harp on homosexuality like they do, …but then again, they may have been infiltrated by fundamentalists way before any other so-called religion was.