Mitt Romney with Paul Ryan (right)
US Republican presidential hopeful Mitt Romney’s newly selected running mate Paul Ryan has been slated for his anti-gay views and voting record in Congress.
On Saturday, Romney announced that Ryan, a Republican congressman from Wisconsin, would be his vice president should he win the November presidential elections.
The Human Rights Campaign (HRC), America’s largest LGBT rights organisation, responded that Ryan’s political history makes “it clear that he does not support the dignity of LGBT Americans”.
According to HRC, Ryan has voted against allowing gay and lesbian couples to adopt, has voted against hate crime protections and opposed repealing the ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’ ban on gays in the military.
He also does not support marriage equality, having twice backed the Federal Marriage Amendment that would ban loving, committed same-sex couples from marrying, and he supported a similar constitutional amendment in his home state of Wisconsin.
“Ryan’s record of voting against fairness, dignity and equality is out of touch with the majority of Americans and a fast growing majority of Republicans,” said HRC President Chad Griffin. “LGBT Americans need leadership that will continue to fight for their rights to protect their families, marry the person they love, and enjoy equal protections under the law.”
The organisation noted that Romney’s own record is no better than Ryan’s on matters of LGBT equality. Romney does not support relationship recognition for LGBT people, “making him even more conservative on LGBT issues than former President George W. Bush, who supported civil unions while in office,” said HRC.
Romney also views workplace protections for LGBT people as an “unfair burden on employers”.
As a signatory to the National Organisation for Marriage’s (NOM) “marriage pledge,” Romney has committed himself to vigorously pursuing a federal marriage amendment to ban same-sex marriage across the US.