Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney claimed nearly 40 percent of yesterday's vote in the country's first primary of the 2012 general election season, according to the Associated Press.
Last night's victory in New Hampshire only solidified Romney's status as the GOP front-runner, but after two contests, Romney still faces an uphill battle to win over more than half of the GOP voters who still prefer another of the party's candidates. Romney finished last week's Iowa caucuses with a narrow margin of victory over former Sen. Rick Santorum (R-Penn).
Romney, one of the more “moderate” candidates in the race, doesn't support allowing gay couples to marry, but he does support some kind of partnership agreement between consenting adults.
Is there hope for Republican presidential contenders to be more moderate on gay rights?
The National Organization for Marriage is targeting Congressman Ron Paul (R-Texas) ahead of today's New Hampsire Primary. The anti-gay group announced this week that it had set up a phone bank and had begun running television ads in the state.
Paul is not a gay rights hero, but he's far from NOM's preferred choice, former Sen. Rick Santorum (R-Penn). Paul and former Utah Gov. Jon Huntsman are the only two major GOP candidates that refused to sign NOM's “Marriage Pledge.”
Here's one of their commercials:
After a 2010 with few marriage equality measures contested outside the courtroom, 2011 will likely see a number of battles state by state across the country.
On Jan. 18, the U.S. Supreme Court refused to hear an appeal to the law allowing gay couples to marry in Washington, D.C.
Still, two states face the prospect of losing marriage equality, an additional seven states could start the process of amending their state constitutions to ban marriage equality, and five could gain marriage equality.