Romney Promises Support for ENDA

Secret meeting with gay GOP group ends with alleged vow to pass federal equality law

The Washington Blade has confirmed a report by The Nation’s Bed Adler that Mitt Romney met secretly with the Log Cabin Republicans, a gay GOP organization, which resulted in the group’s endorsement of Romney for president. In an apparent quid pro quo, the Blade’s Chris Johnson says that Romney promised LCR to strongly support the passage of the Employment Non-Discrimination Act—the federal legislation that prohibits employment discrimination based on sexual orientation—after he is elected president.

The Republican nominee met with LCR executive director R. Clarke Cooper at Greenwood Farm in Leesburg, VA, a Washington suburb, on October 17. There, LCR leadership and representatives from Romney’s campaign discussed the importance of ENDA and the impact sexual orientation discrimination has on economic growth. Cooper stressed to the Blade that Romney did not explicitly endorse ENDA, but that he opposed discrimination in the workplace

Romney’s alleged support of ENDA veers from his refusal to state his campaign’s position on ENDA publicly. It also clashes with his opposition to same-sex marriage. His running mate, Paul Ryan, opposes both same-sex marriage and ENDA. But Romney’s knack for promising one thing to one group and the ideologically opposite thing to another group has been widely inferred.

Predictably, it didn’t take long for the Religious Right to react with guns a-blazin’. American Family Association’s Bryan Fischer took to Twitter to demand “a clear, unambiguous, no loophole denial from Gov. Romney that he will support ENDA as president.” That was after he claimed “ENDA will be the official end of religious liberty in America. Will trample on the 1st Amendment rights of every Christian businessmen [sic] in the country.”

The Romney campaign hasn’t yet commented on the ENDA bombshell.

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