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Paul Ryan for House Speaker? A look at his record on life and family

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WASHINGTON, D.C., October 21, 2015 (LifeSiteNews) – Congressman Paul Ryan last night signaled that he may be willing to serve as the next Speaker of the House when they hold their final vote, scheduled for next Thursday. As House Speaker, Ryan would appoint members to committee assignments and largely control what legislation moves forward - and what bills never see the light of day. Is Ryan the man who can unite his party's factions, and what would Ryan - who is strongly pro-life but also supports coercive legislation backed by the LGBT political lobby - mean for the pro-life and pro-family movement?

Ryan's announcement ended weeks of speculation that the 45-year-old Wisconsin congressman, who served as Mitt Romney's vice presidential candidate in 2012, may present himself as a consensus candidate.

"If I can truly be a unifying figure, then I will gladly serve," he said - but only if certain conditions are met, including his own pro-family demand. "I cannot and will not give up my family time," he said.

After meeting with the House Freedom Caucus, the chamber's conservative wing, Ryan said that the Republican Party needs "to move from an opposition party to a proposition party."

Ryan, who is best known for his budget-trimming proposals, has a solidly pro-life voting record. As a Congressman he has voted for the partial birth abortion ban, the Born Alive Infants Protection Act, the Pain Capable Unborn Child Protection Act, the No Taxpayer Funding for Abortion, the Prenatal Nondiscrimination Act (PRENDA) of 2012, and numerous other pieces of pro-life legislation. That performance earned him a 100 percent voting record from the National Right to Life Committee and a zero percent voting record from Planned Parenthood and NARAL Pro-Choice America, respectively.

When Mitt Romney tapped Ryan as his running mate, some pro-life leaders said they were "thrilled."

Ryan made his commitment to the unborn personal during the 2012 vice presidential debate, when he revealed that he and his wife, Janna, nicknamed their unborn daughter "Bean" after seeing her ultrasound picture. (Liza Ryan is now 13 years old.)

On family issues, though, Ryan's record inspires caution.

On November 7, 2007, Ryan voted for the Employee Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA), one of the LGBT political lobby's top priorities. Officially, the bill bars "discrimination" against homosexuals and, in some versions, transgender people. However, the American Family Association and the Family Research Council have warned ENDA will force religious employers to violate their beliefs about homosexuality or face financial ruin by opening them up to endless lawsuits - often backed with the full power of the federal government.

After the Supreme Court legalized same-sex "marriage" in June, homosexual political lobbyists have decided ending "employment discrimination" will be their next push. They hope to accomplish this by passing "The Equality Act," which would amend the 1964 Civil Rights Act to add sexual preference and transgender choice alongside race and sex. The Obama administration has been enforcing civil rights laws as though they cover homosexuals and transgender people.

Ryan 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.

However, he said he has since changed his mind on homosexual adoption. "Adoption, I’d vote differently these days," he told a constituent during a 2013 town hall meeting. "That was, I think, a vote I took in my first term, 2000 or 1999. I do believe that if there are children who are orphans who do not have a loving person or couple — I think if a person wants to love and raise a child they ought to be able to do that. Period."

He also reaffirmed his support for ENDA. "I would vote the same way I voted the last time it came around," he said - although he said he "would have to take a look at" including transgender people. Otherwise, "I stand behind my position."

Conservatives aligned with the House Freedom Caucus and the party's grassroots are concerned over other matters - namely his history of backroom deal-making and his fervent support for granting amnesty to millions of illegal immigrants - a move he championed alongside left-wing Democrat Luis Gutierrez of Illinois. Many Congressmen won the 2014 election by campaigning against President Obama's immigration measures, which they dubbed "executive amnesty."

“We think Paul Ryan is another example of what’s wrong with Washington, D.C.,” Jenny Beth Martin, the national coordinator of the Tea Party Patriots, told Breitbart News.

Privately, Freedom Caucus members say they wish Ryan had adopted some of their proposals, rather than suggest they unite behind his. Some of the House's more conservative members continue to support Rep. Daniel Webster of Florida for Speaker.

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Yet Ryan has won the endorsement of many Congressional heavyweights, in both parties. Outgoing Speaker John Boehner - who groomed Ryan for leadership alongside Kevin McCarthy - said Ryan would be a "great speaker," and Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid called himself a "Paul Ryan fan."

The House is scheduled to vote for a new Speaker by secret ballot next Wednesday, October 28, then hold a final floor vote on Thursday, October 29.

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