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GOD AND GAYS

Romney has moved far to the right on abortion, gay rights, gun control, and other non-economic domestic issues since turning his attention to winning Republican primaries, beginning around 2004.

But many observers assume that, whatever his personal opinions on those matters, he doesn't particularly care deeply about them. No Apology barely touched on those topics.

That doesn't mean he'll do nothing in those areas, however. More likely, he will designate them to others within the administration — people who do care a great deal, and will push forward aggressively.

Their likely first target will be policies that affect how gay and transgender people are treated within the vast federal government itself.

Obama has made considerable gains, in protecting federal employees from discrimination and retaliation, and ensuring that government agencies don't discriminate toward those receiving services. That's a sharp turn from the previous administration, whose Office of Special Counsel was dubbed by the Phoenix "Bush's House Homophobe."

But the most important effect will be in the courts. Romney will inherit a large number of judicial vacancies, and is likely to let some of his most ideological advisors — people like Jay Sekulow and Mark DeMoss — select nominees for him.

By next summer, some of those far-right judges will be hearing cases in federal courts around the country.

Of all the changes listed here, that may be the most far-reaching of all. Those judges will keep remaking the country in Romney's image for years — long after he leaves the White House.

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Related: Mitt's Charlie Card, Photos: New Hampshire Primaries, Friday, January 6th, 2012, Photos: New Hampshire Primary, Saturday, January 7th, 2012, More more >
  Topics: News Features , Mitt Romney, oil, GOP,  More more >
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