Former Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney on Sunday said that the notion of marriage should not evolve from what it was 2,000 or 3,000 years ago because only a mother and a father could provide an ideal environment for children.
During an interview with NBC host David Gregory about the Winter Olympics in Sochi, Romney disagreed with Russian officials on almost every point -- except when it came to equal rights for LGBT people.
"Well, I think marriage is a relationship between a man and a woman," the former GOP nominee said. "And I think the ideal setting for raising a child is in a setting where there is a father and a mother. Now, there are many other different settings that children are raised in, and people have the right to live their life as they want to."
"But I think marriage should be defined in the way that it has been defined for several thousand years, and if gay couples want to live together, why, that's fine as well," he added. "That's their right."
Gregory asked Romney if there was any evidence that equal marriage rights had a negative impact on the states that implemented it.
"Oh, I think it's going to take a long, long time to determine whether having gay marriage will make it less likely for kids to be raised in settings where there's a mom and a dad," the former Massachusetts governor insisted. "That's not going to happen overnight. It's something which happens over generations, in fact. And, again, I think the ideal setting is where there's a mom and dad that could invest their time and their resources in support the development of a child."
Romney argued that it wasn't about "winning" the fight against marriage equality for Republicans, it was "standing for various principles."
"Sometimes if something is lost, why, you move on to the next issue," he remarked. "You wish you had won that one, but you move on."
"I do believe, by the way, that it's best decided by the people, rather than by the courts. I think when the court steps in and makes a decision of this nature, they're removing from the people something which they have the right to decide themselves."