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Elections Porn / October 6, 2012
By Mark Ames

This article was first published at

While researching my ongoing series of articles for Not Safe for Work Corporation on the relationship between the Romney family and the Mormon Church and their reactionary politics, I came across a shocker.

In 1979 and 1980, at the height of the battle to ratify the Equal Rights Amendment, Mitt Romney’s father, former Gov. George Romney—the supposedly “liberal” “cool” Republican who was destroyed by Nixon’s dirty tricks—publicly denounced supporters of the Equal Rights Amendment as  “moral perverts,” labeling the movement a homosexual conspiracy to destroy the American family.

George Romney is Mitt’s “inspiration” for his campaign, and it has been widely repeated to that point of uncontested truth that Mitt’s father was a  “liberal” Republican and “champion” of civil rights. Clearly, the recent history of Mitt Romney’s family needs updating.

First, a little background: In 1979-80, just before Ronald Reagan was elected president, ratification of the Equal Rights Amendment to the Constitution was all but assured. But thanks to an intense and well-organized campaign waged by the Mormon Church leadership, the ERA was stopped in its tracks in Utah and a handful of other states where Mormon influence could make the difference.

As Jon Krakauer observed in his bestseller,  Under the Banner of Heaven , “Most political analysts believe that had the LDS Church not taken such an aggressive position against the ERA, it would have been easily ratified by the required thirty-eight states, and would now be part of the U.S. Constitution.”

Indeed, before the Mormon leadership targeted the women’s rights amendment for destruction, support even in Utah ran high—a 1974 poll published in the Deseret News, which is owned by the LDS Church, showed that 63% of Utah residents “approved of the ERA,” according to Krakauer’s book.

The years 1979-80 were crucial in the battle to kill the Equal Rights Amendment and turn the momentum. Mormon feminists like Sonia Johnson—who founded Mormons for ERA—were excommunicated from the LDS Church, and denounced on television by top power-Mormons like Sen. Orrin Hatch.

“I shall get revenge on those moral perverts, O father! Just as soon as I slip into my Magic Underwear!”

And that is when George Romney, Mitt’s father and Mitt’s “inspiration” for his presidential campaign—joined the Mormon Church’s campaign vilifying the Equal Rights Amendment and its supporters as “moral perverts.” Romney’s hate-filled attacks on ERA supporters shocked mainstream Americans, who couldn’t quite believe it at first—so Mitt’s father went public a second time equating ERA supporters to homosexuals and moral perverts, who were one and the same according to Mitt’s father.

From “ Romney: ERA home for ‘moral perverts’ ” published by the AP on December 17, 1979:

George Romney says the equal rights movement has attracted ‘moral perverts’ who want to undermine the very family the Mormon Church is striving to enrich.

“At an international women’s year meeting,” said Romney, “lesbians and the homosexuals and moral perverts (cited) this amendment as a means of eliminating any basis of moral criticism.”

…Romney said he supported his church’s decision to excommunicate feminist Sonia Johnson who had campaigned for the ERA.

A week later, the leaders of the Michigan state senate and house, along with 32 other state legislators, called on former Gov. Romney to resign from a post he held in 1979 as governor of Wayne State University. House Speaker Bobby Crim and Senate majority leader William Faust issued a joint statement in December 1979 that Romney’s statements “sadden us deeply. His insinuation that the amendment is being promoted by ‘moral perverts’ is misguided and inaccurate.”

Mitt’s dad refused to back down, or resign. Instead, a couple of weeks later, George Romney published a letter in the Mormon Church’s newspaper The Deseret News in which he doubled down on his attacks, writing:

“Surely this resolution [the ERA] and its supporting statements are designed to legitimize sex and social relationships other than those that form the basis of divinely ordained marriage, parenthood, family and home…”

Romney also argued that the ERA would legitimize practices contrary to what he called “the truths about sex and sexual preferences voiced by God through his prophets.” [“Romney fears ERA would be boost for gays”, Miami News Services, January 1, 1980]

In 1993, Apostle Boyd Packer—who currently serves as the Number Two man in the LDS Church hierarchy— was quoted in Krakauer’s book as saying the three biggest threats facing the Mormons were “the gay-lesbian movement, the feminist movement, and the ever-present challenge from the so-called scholars or intellectuals.”

The LDS Church’s attitude towards women is more well-known—this past week, the Daily Beast’s Stacey Solie wrote  an article calling on zombie-moderator Jim Lehrer to ask Romney about his church’s views on women, and if he agreed with them.

It’s been accepted as a given that the Romneys were never the types to fall in line with the church’s more extreme reactionary politics—and that Mitt’s father and “inspiration,” Gov. George Romney, was a “liberal” and a brave supporter of civil rights.

Indeed in 1967, Gov. George Romney specifically promised that the Mormon Church’s reactionary politics would not impact his commitment to liberal politics and civil rights. In an article headlined  “Romney Insists Mormon Faith Won’t Mar His Liberal Stand” Mitt’s father, comparing himself to JFK, told Protestant and Catholic clergymembers :

“My faith has influenced me to believe that every human being is a child of God as I am, and should have every opportunity I have…I believe I’m entitled to be judged on the basis of my action, not someone else’s ideas of what may be the precepts of my church.”

That of course turned out to be a lie: 12 years later, Mitt’s father took his marching orders from the LDS Church attacking the Equal Rights Amendment as a gay/lesbian plot and its supporters as “moral perverts.”

Maybe a better question then to ask Mitt Romney is, does he support his father’s stance on the ERA as a plot by “moral perverts” to destroy the American family, given that his father serves as Mitt’s “inspiration”? And more importantly, if the LDS Church calls on a President Romney to take a stand on a national issue, will Mitt, like his father, fall in line and carry the reactionary water, whatever the consequences for everyone else?

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Add your own

  • 1. Nyerd  |  October 6th, 2012 at 11:15 pm

    To Mark Ames and all Exholes.

    I caught this article perusing Daily Kos a while back, describing Judy Dushku’s (a Mormon Feminist) experience with Mitt Romney’s failed ’94 Senate campaign. I’m not sure if you are aware of it, but I think it is pretty revealing of Mitt’s character and worth reading.


    (I hope I didn’t fuck that link up).

  • 2. vortexgods  |  October 7th, 2012 at 5:38 am

    I don’t think there’s one single person who likes George Romney’s position on segregation or the New Deal who plans to vote for Mitt because he was George Romney’s son.

    Rather, when George Romney is held up to compare to Mitt, it’s a negative comparison. If George had taken the LDS position on segregation (the LDS was for it, he was against it) he would have been more popular with Dixiecrat Republicans, but unpopular with anyone who was looking for someone humane and decent. Mitt has said he plans to eliminate HUD, which Mitt’s father tried to use to help poor black families in defiance of Nixon.

    So, basically, gender equality is one issue where George was sympatico with the modern Republican party. Maybe someone will ask the candidates about the ERA in the next debate. (I’m just joking.)

  • 3. erblat  |  October 7th, 2012 at 6:47 am

    Wow this is nuts, I wonder how many trolls will come to this comment section to try to defend Romney on this? Ames, thanks for putting this out. You must have a bunch of weird stalker types who troll your every article, if you do just ignore them

  • 4. erblat  |  October 7th, 2012 at 6:48 am

    you’re the best of the american left

  • 5. erblat  |  October 7th, 2012 at 6:51 am

    also wanted to say that your articles keep getting better, which probably explains why some weird stalker types troll your comments sections. i keep expecting that canadian fashionista gavin whatever to troll you here, does he still bother you?

  • 6. erblat  |  October 7th, 2012 at 6:57 am

    you’re a god. i hope you’re not being stalked and trolled too much by some freak who has no life (or worse, who writes for a libertarian online zine! haha!)

  • 7. erblat  |  October 7th, 2012 at 6:59 am

    wait now I’m starting to wonder if i’m the weird stalker who trolls you. Am I a canadian fashionista? aren’t all stalkers of ames just canadian fashionistas named gavin mcinnis? H’m. what do you think?

  • 8. Ozinator  |  October 7th, 2012 at 8:18 am

    I love this place!

    The magic underwear was kept quiet for so long but ever since Steve Young it seems, Mormons have become as “cool” about it as Catholics eating a wafer and calling it the flesh of Christ. Always a joke ready to make the room feel comfortable

  • 9. erblat  |  October 7th, 2012 at 11:54 am

    A canadian fashionista who bragged that he’s a white supremacist and who teams up with a felon who broke his girlfriend’s eyesocket to keep her from revealing that he’s a closeted homosexual with hair plugs–yeah, that kind of guy is definitely a creep. And when the white supremacist fashionista and the kidnapper-closetcase with hairplugs spend their weekends trolling Mark Ames out of sheer raw envy, then yeah, their creepy factor goes up about 1000 times. Thanks for pointing that out.

  • 10. Talibre  |  October 7th, 2012 at 1:46 pm

    Pretty fucked up. The article and also the weird fashionistas trolling you. Don’t they have lives?

  • 11. deadmoney  |  October 7th, 2012 at 4:24 pm

    shit, that last comment was meant for the Hillary article

    apparently being bummed out all the time is bad for your brain

  • 12. jyp  |  October 8th, 2012 at 8:18 am

    Aha! Another clever inducement to get us peons to give money to your pay-for-play alternate website. Jeebus proteck me from this temptation. A few more good articles and I may yet giveth in.

  • 13. Cy Brigham Young  |  October 8th, 2012 at 9:38 am

    WTF does this article have to do with a pitcher’s ERA? Don’t get it.

  • 14. damn red  |  October 8th, 2012 at 12:51 pm

    if you want to hear fucked up, I remember when living in Utah my social studies teacher was teaching us about why the ERA was bad.

    His major complaint equal rights meant we would not have sex segregated bathrooms/locker rooms.

    Remember everyone’s vote matters.

  • 15. Willard  |  October 8th, 2012 at 12:54 pm

    If my mother was a fish, then my dad was a colossal dickwad who only left me $789,987.54 to scrape by on when I was a young newlywed with a wife and a dressage horse to feed. But Dad did have his fun side: The Demon-Nigger Game. Inspired by Hermann Hesse’s Glass-Bead Game, only based on our family’s home planet, Detroitpolisistan, we’d spend many a happy Saturday night sitting naked in the family den drinking root beer, farting, and curling our hair and fattening our lips. “Eat you Momma’s lips,” Dad would laugh, looking like Lena Dunham in heat. (That trog is only now worth $4.8M by my estimates, but she’s just a gentile.)

  • 16. Nolan  |  October 8th, 2012 at 2:30 pm

    While this might sound like I’m on Ames payroll to pimp his site (I’m not, but if you are reading this Mark I’m willing to listen to offers), NSFWCorp was worth the $3, there’s more than just Ames and the War Nerd worth reading, the whole staff is rather good and the desk notes are as interesting as the real articles.

    Of course it would be nice if we weren’t neglected here at the Exiled, I think Ames is trying to reach out to a larger audience here which means being slightly less offensive.

  • 17. Ozinator  |  October 9th, 2012 at 9:24 pm


    HAHA! When I was 10 or 11, that battle was going down and I lived next door to infertile Mormons who adopted 4 strange kids (2 were awesome! one let me see her pee and the other was a smart ass who terrorized the neighborhood with Ozzy Osbourne tunes…the others were fucked). The Mother told all the kids on the block that if ERA passed, boys would go to the same toilette as the girls. Funny sell, but you ain’t lyin! I remember

  • 18. Willard  |  October 10th, 2012 at 11:15 am


    ‘Cept fo’ seeing my sister and her friend pee in Dad’s mouth when I was a young ‘un trainin’ to be a High Priest, I’ve never seen any vadge except for Ann’s – and once in a while, her dressage horses’. Us Mormons, we be good down-home folk. We don’t fuckeesuckee before marriage like the fornincatin’ minorities do. I wish you was more open-minded, ya hear?

  • 19. damn red  |  October 10th, 2012 at 6:34 pm

    @17 Jesus christ,
    sounds like the neighborhood I was living in.

    Have another Utah Tale.

    During a pep rally they would have sketches and other assorted mandatory entertainment, while introducing the football team and staff.

    No one remembers these things, but I will remember this one until death. It was the sickening realization that I was actually an alien in a foreign country.

    I grew up in a major east coast city.
    I was bathed in the standard liberal farce of what America is, full of good intentions and a can do attitude that will lead to a better future for everyone. Helping the poor and weak were things that we accepted as things America does.

    Like most Americans I drifted comatose, right on our interstate system deeper into the heartland of this country and found myself a high school student in the heart of Republican country.

    Most of High school years were a blur, mostly since I attended 3 separate schools, but pep rallies were different they were more like episodes of being black out drunk.

    Except this one, it opened up how you expect it to, introduce the team, the staff, have the cheerleaders come out and on to the sketches, all terrible and unmemorable.

    But just like a car accident, which is a great way to sober up, this girl comes running out of nowhere on to the stage bursting with joy and giddy as all hell, grabs the microphone from one of the sketch actors and joyously announces to the whole auditorium, “The President of the United States (Bill Clinton) was shot and killed this morning!”

    The crowd went nuts, they were cheering on their feet, screaming and yelling with joy at this news, they never laughed.

    The principal and teachers were also excited and cheering this sketch. And I sobered up, I felt numb as if I just had a head on collision with a stroller. I let out some token boos that were drowned in the sea of joyful hate with happy waves of applause.

    At that moment I felt like I just woke up at a Nuremberg rally run by chimps. And everything I thought about the USA was killed on impact that day.

    It’s radioactive hate.

    To be fair my English teacher was pissed and gave a sound verbal thrashing to each of her class periods. I still wonder if she remembers that rally.

  • 20. Malcom X  |  November 23rd, 2012 at 12:44 am

    Just what did you honky fucktardz expect? George I ran AMC. AMC built the Gremlin. The Grem, Pinto, and Traubi were weapons of the anti-Christ, who just ran, and lost, the erection of 2012. It’s got something to do with yeast infections and 007. All will be revealed in the next Bond project, tentatively titled Shaft Vs. Blacula, a musical ensemble starring Bieber looking into a cracked mirror.

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