Mitt Romney’s selection of Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI) as his vice presidential running mate cements the Republican ticket’s overwhelming opposition to LGBT equality. In fact, Ryan has a voting record to reflect every anti-LGBT position that Romney has taken. Here’s a recap:
- Banning state-level same-sex marriage. Just as Romney opposed same-sex marriage in Massachusetts, Ryan supported the 2006 ban on same-sex marriage in Wisconsin.
- Supporting a federal constitutional amendment banning same-sex marriage. Romney has promised to campaign on a federal marriage amendment, but Ryan has already voted for one — twice, in 2004 and in 2006.
- Defending discrimination against same-sex couples. President Obama announced last year he would no longer defend the discriminatory Defense of Marriage Act, a decision Romney has characterized as an “assault on religion.” Ryan voted to limit funding to the Justice Department that might be used to oppose DOMA by the Obama administration.
- Opposing federal non-discrimination protections. Romney believes that states should get to decide whether LGBT people are protected from employment discrimination, and similarly, Ryan voted to kill the Employment Non-Discrimination Act in 2007, though he ultimately voted for it. His refusal to include sexual orientation and gender identity in his Congressional office’s nondiscrimination policy demonstrates where he stands.
- Opposing repeal of Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell. Though Romney has said he would not reinstate the ban on gays and lesbians serving openly in the military, he did oppose repealing it until “conflict was over” (i.e. the never-ending “War on Terror”). In 2010, Ryan voted against the repeal of Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell.
- Opposing hate crimes protections. Just as Romney vetoed a bill funding hate crimes prevention in Massachusetts in 2003, Ryan voted against expanding the federal hate crimes law to protect the LGBT community.
Ryan is perhaps best known for his budget, and that too would devastate LGBT families by eliminating many of the public services they depend upon because of the economic inequities they face. By selecting Ryan as his running mate, Romney is guaranteeing his commitment to rolling back much of the progress the LGBT community has achieved over the past two decades.