These two better watch out or they are going to be ejected from the 2012 GOP Clown Car. The below may seem like small slips in the overall picture re: LGBT issues, but remember — the campaign to reach the primary finish line fraught with religious right hurdles, and the fringe has a zero-tolerance policy on any statement that remotely smacks of pro-equality.
In a “candidate series” interview with the Nashua (NH) Telegraph editorial board last Tuesday, Mittens lived up to his flip-flopping reputation throughout the discussion. What was noteworthy this time is that he makes news by stating he supports “gay rights” in the form of employment non-discrimination. By being specific on this, he’s wide open for the fringe right wing
Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney says he hasn’t changed in the years since he lost the 2008 New Hampshire primary. Instead, he said Monday in a meeting with The Telegraph editorial board that it’s the political conversation that has shifted – a move that has benefited his campaign.

…Asked about the accusations of flip-flops, Romney said he has stayed consistent on the issue of same-sex marriage. “I don’t believe in discriminating in employment or opportunity for gay individuals. So I favor gay rights. I do not favor gay marriage,” he said.
Of course this leads to all sorts of questions that Mittens should be asked in response to his 2012 position — specifically on whether he supports the federal Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA), and the end to the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) to eliminate discrimination that gay and lesbian service members in same-sex marriages still face in terms of benefits.
From Marriage Equality USA‘s press release, “Romney favors gay rights – how far?” –
Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney now favors protection for LGBT workers, both before and after they are hired.  “I favor gay rights,” Romney said during a one-hour video interview with the Nashua Telegraph newspaper editorial board on Tuesday, marking the first time that a major Republican presidential contender has taken such a position.
At a conservative evangelical forum three days earlier in Des Moines, Iowa, the trailing Republican presidential candidates — Bachmann, Gingrich, Perry, Santorum — renewed their firm opposition to civil rights for LGBT people, but the leading candidates — Cain, Paul, Romney — are trending in the other direction.
“Romney’s new stance raises profound questions for members of the armed forces who are legally married to same-sex spouses,” says Marriage Equality USA Project Leader Ned Flaherty, “because if Romney applies his new fair employment policy to the military, then he would also have to support an end to the pay cuts of up to 40% which are imposed by the Defense of Marriage Act.” DOMA denies all military personnel with same-sex spouses up to 368 active/reserve/veteran benefits, including housing, medical/dental/optical care, commissary discounts, separation pay, relocation, spouse employment aid, survivor benefits, legal services, and burial rights.
Ron Paul, who has little regard for the religious fringe that he needs to win over for the nomination, made it clear during an interview with the Des Moines Register‘s editorial board that marriage equality is none of the government’s business to “protect” (though his nod to the states’ power appears to support the status quo; he would be intellectually dishonest as a libertarian if he supported local government intervention on the issue). (via On Top):
{T}he GOP presidential candidate was asked: “What is the government’s role in same-sex marriage?”
That’s my ideal — just butt out,” Paul answered. “I think a lot of the importance of marriage and I think a lot of the dictionary too. I know what the dictionary says marriage should be and is. But I didn’t vote for the marriage amendment. To me, it’s defining a word. If you want to define it one way and me another, that sounds like a first amendment issue. Why should I try to convince you of my definition? Or why do I want someone else to impose their ideas on me and make me accept their definition? So I want the government out. If you’re going to have government under the constitution, the states have a lot more authority than the federal government has to define it. I’d rather see it be outside of government and then we would not be arguing about this.”
Notably, Paul’s take did not sit well with Bob Vander Plaats, who is the man behind the far-right organization  The Family Leader, sponsor of the recent Thanksgiving forum in Iowa. He told the Des Moines Register: “[I] think he let his libertarian view trump his moral compass.