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Romney tells NAACP convention he will 'defend traditional marriage'

Log Cabin Republicans call his words 'a gratuitous attack on the freedom to marry'

Mitt Romney initially seemed to be speaking out in favor of LGBT equality during a speech at the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People's annual convention today (11 July) but in the same speech, vowed to 'defend traditional marriage.'

Romney, the presumptive Republican presidential nominee, told the crowd in Houston that he would stand for 'every race, creed and sexual orientation.' 

But in subsequent remarks, he made clear that he was not softening on his stance against gay marriage when he said: 'As president, I will promote strong families and defend traditional marriage.'

Romney's comments on gay marriage drew immediate response from some LGBT groups, including the Log Cabin Republicans who praised the candidate for mentioning sexual orientation by name, but took issue with the marriage remarks.

  'It is unfortunate that he countered his outreach to gay and lesbian Americans with a gratuitous attack on the freedom to marry,' the group's executive director R. Clarke Cooper said in a statement. 'If Governor Romney truly desires to represent all Americans, Log Cabin Republicans encourages him to avoid divisive social issues and focus on jobs and the economy.'

Sharon Lettman-Hicks, executive director of the National Black Justice Coalition, told the Washington Blade: 'Thousands of LGBT couples are raising children and have marriages rooted in love and lifelong commitment — you don’t get more traditional than that. The U.S. Census shows that these couples are also more likely to be people of color, especially African American. If Romney’s pledge is to represent Americans of ‘every race, creed and sexual orientation,’ that includes loving and committed LGBT couples and the families they are providing for and protecting.'

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