The Log Cabin Republicans were quick to defend Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI) on Saturday upon the announcement he would be Mitt Romney’s running mate in the presidential election. Despite Ryan’s odious record on LGBT issues, LCR executive director R. Clarke Cooper chose to highlight Ryan’s only pro-LGBT vote, describing him as a “fair-minded policymaker”:
COOPER: Congressman Paul Ryan is a strong choice for vice president, and his addition to the GOP ticket will help Republican candidates up and down the ballot. 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.
At the same time, 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. 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 Governor Romney wants to run, and the kind of president Governor Romney wants to be.
Lauding Ryan’s budget plan shows how little investment the Log Cabin Republicans have for the gays and lesbians they claim to serve, because it would cut essential social services that same-sex families depend upon. One half-hearted vote for ENDA — which only came after he tried to kill the bill — in no way excuses the many votes Ryan has taken to inhibit full equality for the LGBT community.
Jerame Davis, executive director of National Stonewall Democrats, offered a more pragmatic perspective on the Ryan pick in terms of LGBT equality:
DAVIS: Mitt Romney’s choice of Tea Party darling Paul Ryan as his running mate is as crass as it is cunning. Romney knows the Tea Party base of the GOP still doesn’t trust him or believe in his conservative credentials; his choice of Ryan is nothing more than a craven attempt to shore up his base. Though Ryan brings relative youth and excites the base, he has little experience aside from being a Washington politician beholden to corporations and the wealthy. [...]
Ryan’s opposition to civil rights for LGBT people certainly matches Mitt Romney’s, but unlike Romney’s gutless pandering to the religious right, Ryan is a true believer. For LGBT voters there’s nothing in this pick but more disappointment and disregard.