There’s been a fair amount of coverage over the past few days of the first sitting U.S. Congressman to enter a same-sex marriage. That would be Barney Frank, a Democrat from Gov. Romney’s home state of Massachusetts.
Such news about Rep. Frank is not, in and of itself, remarkable. He isn’t exactly reticent about his views or sexuality. But the officiant of the ceremony did strike me as remarkable. It was Deval Patrick, the current Governor of Massachusetts and Gov. Romney’s successor in that role.
If Gov. Romney were still in office today, I am sure he would go out of his way to be gracious toward Congressman Frank–and as I’ve written previously, I think that’s the right approach. But the contrast between him and Gov. Patrick, who is a huge ally of President Obama, could not be clearer, nor could the political atmosphere out of which Gov. Romney comes in Massachusetts.
When Gov. Romney was in office, judges attempted to force gay marriage on the Bay State. Gov. Romney clearly stated his views on the matter, which have been consistent across time: We need to be tolerant, but it isn’t intolerance to insist that marriage is between one man and one woman. He then did everything in his power, within the law, to keep that as the legal definition of marriage. While that probably strikes you as common sense, it was highly controversial in Massachusetts.
The voters, in turn, elected Gov. Patrick, who has a totally different agenda, as evidenced by the role he agreed to play for Congressman Frank. That agenda, of course, is the one his friend, and the man Gov. Romney seeks to succeed now in Washington, President Obama, shares.