Paul Ryan has solid pro-family record, but marred by vote in favor of ENDA
WASHINGTON, D.C., August 13, 2012, (LifeSiteNews.com) – As the excitement of Mitt Romney’s announcement that Paul Ryan will be his vice presidential running mate wears off, pro-family leaders have begun assessing his record and recommendations for what the Republican ticket means to them. Paul’s record of pro-life activism and his eloquent writings on the topic have won him the enthusiastic support of the nation’s leading advocates for the unborn.
On marriage, too, his record is solid, with one exception – his onetime support for the Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA).
Legislative watchdogs such as the American Family Association and the Family Research Council had warned that ENDA would force religious employers to violate their beliefs about homosexuality (and, in some drafts, gender identity) or face financial ruin. A leaked draft of the 2012 Democratic Party platform officially supports the legislation.
On November 7, 2007, Ryan voted for ENDA, one of only 35 Republicans to do so. However, minutes earlier, he voted with most Republicans to table the bill. The Republican caucus had hoped it would not come up for a full vote; yet once it did, Ryan voted for its passage.
In the process, Ryan said he “took a lot of grief” for his stance, but he “stopped worrying about it.”
This was the last time ENDA came before the Congress.
Both the Log Cabin Republicans and GOProud cited Ryan’s ENDA vote in their positive statements about the veep announcement. The Log Cabin Republicans added that Ryan exhibited “consistent willingness to engage with Log Cabin on a range of issues.”
Ryan’s rhetoric about the condition of homosexual attraction has sometimes justified their praise.
Homosexuals “didn’t roll out of bed one morning and choose to be gay,” Ryan has said. “That’s who they are.” He reportedly added that his support for LGBT people is a “generational thing.”
However, when things turn from talk to action, Ryan has strongly supported a pro-family agenda, especially on the issue of same-sex “marriage.”
The National Organization for Marriage (NOM) praised Ryan’s record opposing marriage redefinition. Ryan supported Wisconsin’s marriage protection amendment, as well as a marriage amendment to the U.S. Constitution.
Ryan has spoken forcefully on the topic, as he has on the subject of the unborn. “Marriage is not simply a legal arrangement between individuals,” he said. “The institution of marriage is an integral part of our civil society and its significance goes well beyond eligibility for benefits and similar considerations. Its future should not be left to a few overreaching judges or local officials to decide.”
Although he hinted that he might support allowing open homosexuals to serve in the military if military brass approved, he voted against repealing “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell.”
He voted against the homosexual “hate crimes” law, and opposed allowing homosexual couples to adopt in the District of Columbia, which constitutionally is under the direct control of Congress.
But despite this solid record, some have suggested that Mitt Romney’s choice of Ryan is a sign of Romney’s own moderate position on homosexual issues.
“It is actually somewhat telling that Romney made the decision to ignore the conventional wisdom, that he needed to balance his ticket out with an evangelical social conservative like Virginia Governor Bob McDonnell, and picked an ardent follower of Ayn Rand instead,” said Sean Robert Cotter, who writes for the homosexual newspaper the Washington Blade. “Ryan has just enough of a pro-gay background to keep social moderates who admire his economic principles from feeling guilty, and not nearly enough to make progressives who oppose the Ryan Plan feel any remorse about going after him.”
However, most pro-family leaders have been supportive, even “thrilled,” by Paul Ryan‘s slot on the GOP ticket.
Romney’s former rival, Senator Rick Santorum, called Ryan “a full-spectrum conservative. He is solidly pro-life, pro-family, and will be an advocate for our military and our national-security priorities.”
Conservative leader Richard Viguerie has said Ryan’s “zest for intellectual combat” may prove the Romney campaign’s saving grace.
Tony Perkins, the president of the Family Research Council, said he looks forward to Romney and Ryan speaking at next month’s Values Voters Summit, “so that the conservative grassroots will have an opportunity to hear more about their agenda on the critical issues facing our country including religious liberty, marriage, the sanctity of human life as well as fiscal responsibility and national security.”