As Governor of Massachusetts, Romney “Bullied” LGBT Youth Commission

As reported by the Huffington Post, Mitt Romney’s callous attitude toward LGBT teens extended to public policies he championed as Governor of Massachusetts. From the piece:

Angered that his name appeared on a press release touting a gay pride parade, Governor Mitt Romney moved yesterday to curtail the activities of a 14-year-old advisory commission on gay and lesbian youth.

The commission chairwoman, Kathleen M. Henry, said she was called yesterday by Beth Myers, the governor’s chief of staff, who told her that the governor planned to issue an executive order ”revoking our existence” and creating another youth commission whose purview would be all of the state’s youth, not just gays and lesbians. The commission would have all new members, she said.

According to the Huffington Post’s reporting, Romney offered to allow the Commission to remain in existence as long as it changed its mission and focus away from LGBT youth:

Byard told The Huffington Post that GLSEN’s Massachusetts chapter was consistently frustrated with Romney’s cuts to funding for programs that assisted LGBT youth.

As research by the Democratic group American Bridge 21st Century shows, many of these areas did see their funding cut under Romney. On Nov. 15, 2006, for example, the Boston Herald noted that Romney had cut funds for “HIV/AIDS prevention, matching grants for groups like the YMCA and Boys & Girls Clubs and domestic violence prevention in the gay community.” It was part of the governor’s $425 million emergency state spending freeze.

Earlier in the year, Romney had vetoed $158,000 in funding for “intervention services and crisis housing for sexual violence in the gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender community.” As the Patriot Ledger reported on July 22, 2006, the Democratic-controlled state legislature overrode his veto.

In both 2003 and 2004, he vetoed funding for a “statewide and community based suicide prevention, intervention, postvention and surveillance activities and the implementation of a statewide suicide prevention plan,” according to government documents. Romney said the funding was not consistent with his recommendation to the legislature. The state House and Senate eventually overrode that veto as well.

These were Mitt Romney’s priorities as Governor of a liberal state. How would he act with a rabid Tea Party breathing down his neck?

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