After gay marriage was passed in the state in 2003, the state Registry of Vital Records and Statistics needed to revise its birth certificate forms for babies born to gay couples to replace the box for “father” with an option that read “father or second parent.’’
However, Gov. Romney opposed changing the forms to accommodate gay couples and instead insisted that his lawyers review each case and then literally rewrite “father” with “second parent” in ink upon approval.
The Department of Public Health lawyer rejected Romney’s practice of requiring his legal team to review each gay parent case, pointing out that the system actually endangered the children of same-sex couples.
According to the Globe, Romney was advised that:
Crossouts and handwritten alterations constituted “violations of existing statutes’’ and harmed “the integrity of the vital record-keeping system,’’ the deputy general counsel of the department, Peggy Wiesenberg, warned in a confidential Dec. 13, 2004, memo to Mark Nielsen, Romney’s general counsel.
The Globe continues:
The changes also would impair law enforcement and security efforts in a post-9/11 world, she said, and children with altered certificates would be likely to “encounter [difficulties] later in life . . . as they try to register for school, or apply for a passport or a driver’s license, or enlist in the military, or register to vote.”
Romney’s interventions mostly resulted in delays awarding birth certificates for women married to same-sex partners who gave birth. Gay men seeking parental rights were required to take a different route, by obtaining a court order. By law, birth certificates must be issued within 10 days of birth, and in some instances, those deadlines were not met.
You can read the whole article here.
SOURCE: Boston Globe