It seemed like a minor adjustment. To comply with the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court ruling that legalized gay marriage in 2003, the state Registry of Vital Records and Statistics said it needed to revise its birth certificate forms. Instead of just “father,’’ the new forms would feature a box labeled “father or second parent,’’ reflecting the new law of the land. But to then-Governor Mitt Romney, who opposed permitting gay married couples to raise children, the proposed change was a glaring symbol of the decline of the traditional definition of family. He rejected the Registry of Vital Records plan and insisted that his top legal staff individually review the circumstances of every birth to same-sex parents.
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