Mitt Romney on Thursday declined to
criticize President Barack Obama for backing gay marriage.
Appearing on Fox News, Romney told host
Neil Cavuto that he would “respect the right of the president to
reach the conclusion he has.”
The presumptive GOP nominee reiterated
his opposition to gay nuptials but added that he's “fine” with
gay couples adopting children.
“I believe that my record as a person
who has supported civil rights is strong and powerful. At the same
time, I believe that marriage has been defined the same way for
literally thousands of years by virtually every civilization in
history, and that marriage is literally, by its definition, a
relationship between a man and a woman,” Romney said.
“And if two people of the same gender
want to live together, want to have a loving relationship, or even to
adopt a child – in my state individuals of the same sex were able
to adopt children. In my view, that's something that people have a
right to do. But to call that marriage is something that in my view
is a departure from the real meaning of that word.”
On Thursday – only a day after Obama
announced his support for gay marriage – the
Obama campaign released an ad criticizing Romney for his opposition.
The ad also claimed that Romney would deny adoption rights to gay