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Ramon Johnson

Mitt Romney Heads to Center Stage

By May 30, 2012

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Mitt Romney has (finally) secured the Republican nomination for president, but he has a tough battle ahead with a hot button issue that can't be avoided: gay rights.

Public support for gay marriage is on the rise and strong endorsements are coming from all angles of the White House. But with over half of US states carrying gay marriage bans, there is a ideological disconnect between constituents and the Republican base.

Most voters say their growing sentiment for equal gay rights does not influence their political loyalty. However, we can bet the Obama Administration will take advantage of the public's growing support, especially among African-Americans.

In political campaigns, the best candidate is the person in the best interest of the right people. And we've come to see, notably in 2008, that often ignored blocks of racial, gender, religious, and sexual minorities are the ones that propel candidates to victory.

Along the way, Pres. Obama has seemed to remember that it was millions $5 donations and grassroots door knocking, along with promises of an anti-establishment, that got him elected. Unfortunately for Romney, in order to get to center stage he had to sale his loyalty to institutions that are divisive on issues important to minority communities.

The firing of highly qualified aide Richard Grennell was the Republican party's final warning shot to gay constituents. We aren't welcome. Romney hired Grennell, so it's possible that he disagrees with his backers. But Romney isn't there to make new friends. The question is how far he's willing to side with his old ones.
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