by Joyce L. Arnold, Liberally Independent, Queer Talk, equality activist, writer.
The short answer to the question of where newly announced Romney running mate Paul Ryan stands regarding the rights of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender persons: he’s against them.
Or as John Aravosis describes Paul’s position on LGBT rights:
Absolutely awful. He voted once for ENDA, then turned around and voted against it (likely when the religious right got a hold of him). That’s it. Otherwise he’s been terrible on everything. …
In 2007, Ryan was one of 35 Republicans to vote for the Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA), which at that time only proposed to protect against job bias based on sexual orientation, not gender identity or expression.
Ryan’s advocacy didn’t last long, however. When Republicans unsuccessfully tried a parliamentary maneuver to shelve the bill after passage –– with what is known as a motion to recommit –– he joined 26 other GOP ENDA supporters in the unsuccessful effort to kill the bill they had voted for just moments before.
A kind of “I was for it before I was against it” thing.
Read Pam Spaulding’s take here.
From Lucas Grindley at The Advocate:
… Ryan twice voted in support of the failed Federal Marriage Amendment in 2004 and 2006. …
Ryan voted in 1999 in favor of banning same-sex couples from adopting in the District of Columbia … .
Ryan voted against repealing DADT … .
… when the Matthew Shepard and James Byrd, Jr. Hate Crimes Prevention Act passed through the House in 2009, Ryan voted against it.
Chris Geidner, at Buzz Feed:
… As recently as this May, Ryan voted for an amendment to the Commerce, Justice, Science, and Related Agencies Appropriations Act ‘to prohibit the use of funds to be used in contravention of the Defense of Marriage Act.’ …
The Log Cabin Republicans have not yet, as today’s press statement put it, “completed the endorsement process for the 2012 presidential election,” but they put as strong as spin as possible on the announcement about Ryan, initially supporting their assertion of Ryan as a “strong choice” by focusing, not on LGBT rights but with this, LCR Ex. Director R. Clarke Cooper:
‘As chairman of the House Budget Committee and author of the Republican ‘path to prosperity’ that provided the blueprint for serious spending cuts in this Congress, nobody is more qualified to articulate a conservative economic vision to restore the American economy and stimulate job creation.’
Cooper then turns to a specific LGBT focus, mentioning that one 2007 vote in favor of the ENDA (but not that Ryan turned around and voted against it, or mention of his LGBT related voting record in general), and argues that with that single vote,
… and his consistent willingness to engage with Log Cabin on a range of issues speaks to his record as a fair-minded policymaker.
Whatever else Ryan brings to the GOP 2012 ticket, he provides the right-wing “social issues” crowd with a reason to vote Republican.