Mitt Romney earned huge cheers at a conservative conference in February when he bragged, "On my watch, we fought hard and prevented Massachusetts from becoming the Las Vegas of gay marriage." But in 1994, running for Senate against Ted Kennedy, he told a local gay and lesbian paper he was even more pro-gay rights than Kennedy. Romney's February declaration was an attempt to calm social conservatives' fears that he was too moderate during the Republican primary campaign. But the reason he had to shift his position on gay rights rightward in 2012 is that he'd had to shift leftward in 1994. During that campaign, members of Romney's congregation had told the press that he'd called gays and lesbians "perverse" in a speech the previous year. Romney denied it, and promised to be a moderating force in his party. "I think the gay community needs more support from the Republican Party and I would be a voice in the Republican Party to foster antidiscrimination efforts," he told Bay Windows, a New England gay and lesbian newspaper. He also wrote a letter to Log Cabin Republicans saying he'd make "equality for gays and lesbians a mainstream concern." The Bay Windows interview has been reported on during this campaign -- the Boston Globe mentioned it in May, for example -- but the image of the front page, dug up by Reddit readers, is more striking.
This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.