Republican Mitt Romney on July 11 addressed the NAACP’s national conference and said he would be a president who would “promote strong families and defend traditional marriage.”
The statement was seen as a criticism of President Barack Obama’s recent declaration that he supports marriage equality and the administration’s refusal to defend the anti-gay Defense of Marriage Act.
The NAACP’s leadership also recently endorsed marriage equality, and Romney’s statement at the Texas meeting was received with a smattering of applause but also some boos. A much louder chorus of boos met the candidate’s pledge to repeal the Affordable Care Act.
Also in the speech, Romney promised if elected to represent “every race, creed and sexual orientation," which was received with applause.
Log Cabin Republicans, which has not endorsed a candidate for the White House in 2012, issued a statement:
“With his opening remarks to the NAACP today, Governor Romney sent a message that he recognizes the importance of an inclusive Republican vision for victory in November. He deserves credit for taking the step to include sexual orientation by name,” said R. Clarke Cooper, Log Cabin Republicans executive director. “That said, it is unfortunate that he countered his outreach to gay and lesbian Americans with a gratuitous attack on the freedom to marry. If Governor Romney truly desires to represent all Americans, Log Cabin Republicans encourages him to avoid divisive social issues and focus on jobs and the economy.”
Vice President Joe Biden is set to deliver a speech to the conference on July 12.