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Thursday, May 10, 2012

The roots of Romney's obsession with gays

Posted By on Thu, May 10, 2012 at 11:09 AM

Bashing young man: Romneys prep-school past comes to light.
  • Bashing young man: Romney's prep-school past comes to light.
As someone who mostly writes about music, I've pretty much kept quiet about the current presidential race, other than to chronicle former contender Jon Huntsman outing himself as a fan of avant-bluesman Captain Beefheart. (See "Huntsman Drops Out on Beefheart's Birthday.")

But this morning's Washington Post story on candidate Mitt Romney's "youthful indiscretions," to borrow a term from famous GOP philanderer Henry Hyde, is well worth noting — especially in a country where popular (and now presidential) opinion condemns discrimination against gays. Consider this prep school incident:

"John Lauber, a soft-spoken new student one year behind Romney, was perpetually teased for his nonconformity and presumed homosexuality. Now he was walking around the all-boys school with bleached-blond hair that draped over one eye, and Romney wasn’t having it.

“He can’t look like that. That’s wrong. Just look at him!” an incensed Romney told Matthew Friedemann, his close friend in the Stevens Hall dorm, according to Friedemann’s recollection. Mitt, the teenaged son of Michigan Gov. George Romney, kept complaining about Lauber’s look, Friedemann recalled.

A few days later, Friedemann entered Stevens Hall off the school’s collegiate quad to find Romney marching out of his own room ahead of a prep school posse shouting about their plan to cut Lauber’s hair. Friedemann followed them to a nearby room where they came upon Lauber, tackled him and pinned him to the ground. As Lauber, his eyes filling with tears, screamed for help, Romney repeatedly clipped his hair with a pair of scissors.

The incident was recalled similarly by five students, who gave their accounts independently of one another."

Personally, I think Romney's history of intolerance and cowardice — seriously, a prep school posse? — is less than ideal for a would-be leader of the free world, or whatever U.S. presidents are calling themselves these days. But it does speak to the mindset behind his increasingly out-of-step views on same-sex marriages.

On the plus side, Romney no longer assaults gays with scissors. As far as we know.

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