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|Romney VP pick Paul Ryan backed bans on gay marriage, adoption|
|Written by Laura Douglas-Brown|
|Friday, 17 August 2012 00:00|
Paul Ryan, GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney’s chosen running mate, supports amending the U.S. Constitution to ban same-sex marriage and has voted to stop gay couples in Washington, D.C., from adopting children.
Romney, the former Massachusetts governor and presumptive Republican presidential nominee, announced Ryan as his vice presidential nominee Aug. 11. The sparked criticism from LGBT political groups concerned about Ryan’s record as a U.S. congressman from Wisconsin.
The Romney-Ryan ticket “could roll back much of the progress we’ve seen toward full equality,” the Human Rights Campaign, the nation’s largest LGBT political group, argued in a press release.
“Ryan’s voting record in Congress — and his public remarks — make it clear that he does not support the dignity of LGBT Americans; a matter on which he is out-of-touch with the majority of Americans,” state the organization, which has endorsed President Obama’s reelection bid.
HRC issues Congressional Scorecards to grade lawmakers on their stands on LGBT, HIV and other issues. Ryan earned a score of 0 out of 100 for the 111th Congress, a score of 10 for the 110th, and another 0 for the 109th Congress.
Ryan has voted against the Hate Crimes Prevention Act, against repealing “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell,” and in favor of amending the U.S. Constitution to ban gay marriage. He has also voted in favor of banning gay adoption in the District of Columbia, according to HRC.
Earlier this year, he backed a state constitutional amendment to ban gay marriage in Wisconsin.
Gay Republicans praise Ryan
GOProud, a national gay Republican group, praised the selection of Ryan as “bold and inspired.”
“Like all Americans, gays and lesbians in this country are concerned with the out-of-control spending and growing mountains of unsustainable federal debt,” said Jimmy LaSalvia, executive director of GOProud. “Gay Americans understand that without reforms, Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid will go bankrupt. The future prosperity for all Americans, regardless of their sexual orientation, is at stake if we do not act today.”
GOProud noted in a press release that it is the only national gay group to endorse Romney for president. It also noted that Ryan has voted for the Employment Non-Discrimination Act, which would ban job discrimination based on sexual orientation.
HRC does not mention that vote in its press release, but includes it in the Congressional Scorecard for the 110th Congress. Ryan was one of 35 Republicans to vote for ENDA when it passed the U.S. House in November 2007.
The bill, which stalled in the Senate in 2007 and has been reintroduced in later congressional sessions, now also includes gender identity.
Log Cabin Republicans, another national gay GOP group, also praised Ryan’s selection.
“Congressman Ryan’s 2007 vote in favor of the Employment Nondiscrimination Act and his consistent willingness to engage with Log Cabin on a range of issues speaks to his record as a fair-minded policymaker,” said Log Cabin Executive Director R. Clarke Cooper in a press release.
“Overall, while Log Cabin Republicans have not completed the endorsement process for the 2012 presidential election, this is a choice that all Republicans can be excited about, and which sends a good message about the kind of campaign Gov. Romney wants to run, and the kind of president Gov. Romney wants to be,” Cooper said.
The next important event for the GOP is the upcoming convention, being held in Tampa, Fla. Aug. 27-30.
Both GOProud and Log Cabin plan events during the convention.
Top photo: In 2007, U.S. Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wisc.) voted in favor of the Employment Non-Discrimination Act, which would have banned job bias based on sexual orientation. It is his only pro-gay vote tallied by HRC. (courtesy U.S. Congress)
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