Mitt Romney Candidate Report on Civil Liberties


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Mitt Romney was the governor of Massachusetts from 2003 to 2007 and is most well-known for enacting statewide health care and tax reforms. Romney also sought the Republican nomination in 2008 but lost to Senator John McCain.

The following are his current ratings on civil liberties issues:

Abortion Rights (Read more on this)
Mitt Romney's Rating:

No Torches

§ 2011: Supports attempts by states to define life as beginning at conception;
§ 2011: Wants the Supreme Court to reverse Roe v. Wade and allow states to decide whether abortion is legal.

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Contraception (Read more on this)
Mitt Romney's Rating:

No Torches

§ 2012: Told the Conservative Political Action Conference that, as Massachusetts governor, he vetoed a 2005 bill to dispense morning-after pills because it “would have allowed young girls to obtain access to abortion-inducing drugs.”;
§ 2012: Initially opposed but then supported allowing any employer or any insurer to discriminate and deny insurance coverage for a broad range of health care services – including but not limited to contraception – based on the CEO’s own religious or moral beliefs;
§ 2012: Said that states should not ban contraception; 
§ 2012: Said that finding a right to privacy in the Constitution is incorrect but that he would “oppose any effort to ban contraception.”

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Violence Against Women Act (Read more on this)
Mitt Romney's Rating:
N/A (No stated position.)
 

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Family Medical Leave Act/Paid Sick Leave (Read more on this)
Mitt Romney's Rating:
N/A (No stated position.)
 

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Equal Pay for Women/Paycheck Fairness Act (Read more on this)
Mitt Romney's Rating:

No Torches

§ 2011: Took on Robert Bork as his campaign’s legal advisor – Bork believes that the Equal Protection Clause of the 14th Amendment should not apply to women and that women are not discriminated against anymore; 
§ 1994: Said during a senatorial debate, “My entire life has been one of working with women and helping women through the glass ceiling….Public companies and federal agencies should be required to report in their annual 10-k the number of minorities and women by income group within the company, so we can identify where the glass ceiling is, and break through it. And I think that the market of America will say ‘that company has not promoted women,has not promoted minorities and will put pressure on American corporations and agencies to respond.”

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Women in Combat (Read more on this)
Mitt Romney's Rating:

Two Torches

§ 2012: Said that “I believe women have the capacity to serve in our military in positions of significance and responsibility.”

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Title IX/Funding for Equality in Education (Read more on this)
Mitt Romney's Rating:
N/A (No stated position.)
 

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Public School-Sponsored Prayer (Read more on this)
Mitt Romney's Rating:

No Torches

§ 2011: Supported prayer in public schools at “special ceremonies—graduation, football games and the like.”

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Teaching Creationism in Public Schools (Read more on this)
Mitt Romney's Rating:

Two Torches

§ 2007: Opposed teaching Creationism in public schools as Governor of Massachusetts and said, “science class is where to teach evolution” and “philosophical matters” like Creationism should be in religion or philosophy class.

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Using Religion to Discriminate (Read more on this)
Mitt Romney's Rating:

No Torches

§ 2012: Initially opposed but then supported allowing any employer or any insurer to discriminate and deny insurance coverage for a broad range of health care services – including but not limited to contraception – based on the CEO’s own religious or moral beliefs.

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Views on Religious Freedom (Read more on this)
Mitt Romney's Rating:

Two Torches

§ 2012: Said that Obama’s secular policies harm religion.
§ 2011: Affirmed the constitutional principle that we do not choose elected officials based on their religion.
§ 2011: Supported tolerance and respect of people “regardless of their religious persuasion.”
§ 2010: Opposed construction of Park51, an Islamic community center with a prayer room in downtown Manhattan, because “extremists [could] use the mosque for global recruiting and propaganda.”
§ 2007: Said that “[w]e separate church and state affairs in this country, and for good reason.”

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Government Funded Religion (Read more on this)
Mitt Romney's Rating:

No Torches

§ 2006: Created a faith-based initiative to help religious charities win federal money and provided funding to religious organizations to perform secular social services as Governor of Massachusetts.
§ 1994: Promised as a U.S. Senate candidate to vote for the creation of a means-tested school voucher program that could be used for tuition at public, private and religious schools.

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Voter Suppression (Read more on this)
Mitt Romney's Rating:

No Torches
 

§ Supports the South Carolina law that would restrict the number of voters able to participate in elections and disproportionately affect minorities by requiring photo identification at the polls; and opposes Justice Department’s attempts to block the law.
 

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Racial Profiling (Read more on this)
Mitt Romney's Rating:
N/A (No stated position.)

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Humane Immigration Policy (Read more on this)
Mitt Romney's Rating:

No Torches

§ Supports a fence at the U.S.-Mexico border and increasing border security;
§ Would require all undocumented individuals to leave the U.S. and reapply for legal entry;
§ Supports Arizona’s SB 1070 anti-immigration law, which criminalizes the lack of immigration papers, gives police broad authority to arrest people and promotes racial profiling.

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Closing Guantanamo Bay & Indefinite Detention (Read more on this)
Mitt Romney's Rating:

No Torches

§ Said in May 2007 he wants to “double Guantanamo,” expanding indefinite detention without trial.

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Gays & Lesbians Serving Openly In The Military (Read more on this)
Mitt Romney's Rating:

No Torches

§ Supports “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” as effective public policy.

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Ending Torture (Read more on this)
Mitt Romney's Rating:

No Torches

§ Supports the use of “enhanced interrogation techniques” like waterboarding – both euphemisms for torture and illegal under U.S. law.  

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Ending A Surveillance State Under The PATRIOT Act (Read more on this)
Mitt Romney's Rating:

No Torches

§ Supports the further expansion of the PATRIOT Act’s already extensive surveillance powers, saying “we need tools when war is waged domestically.”

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Freedom To Marry For Gay Couples (Read more on this)
Mitt Romney's Rating:

No Torches

§ Opposes same-sex marriage;
§ Supports a federal constitutional marriage amendment that defines marriage as only between a man and woman;
§ Signed pledge to National Organization for Marriage agreeing to support anti-gay federal marriage amendment.

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Reproductive Choice (Read more on this)
Mitt Romney's Rating:

No Torches

§ Supports attempts by states to define life as beginning at conception;
§ Wants the Supreme Court to reverse Roe v. Wade and allow states to decide whether abortion is legal.

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