Romney picks Wisconsin Rep. Paul Ryan as running mate

U.S. Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wisc.)

U.S. Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wisc.) Gage Skidmore, Wikimedia

Presumptive Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney announced on Saturday Wisconsin Rep. Paul Ryan is his pick for vice presidential running mate.

Ryan is a notable selection among the possible choices — which were said to include U.S. Rob Portman (R-Ohio), U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) and Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal (R) — because Ryan voted a sexual orientation-only version of the Employment Non-Discrimination Act when it came to the House floor.

Gage Skidmore, Wikimedia

U.S. Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wisc.)

R. Clarke Cooper, executive director of the National Log Cabin Republicans, commended the Ryan choice because of his vote for ENDA and his willingness to engage with his organization.

“Congressman Ryan’s 2007 vote in favor of the Employment Non-Discrimination Act and his consistent willingness to engage with Log Cabin on a range of issues speaks to his record as a fair-minded policymaker,” Cooper said.

Besides that vote, Ryan’s record on LGBT issues has not been supportive. Ryan voted in the subsequent Congress against hate crimes protection legislation and “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” repeal. He also expressed opposition to same-sex marriage and voted for the Federal Marriage Amendment, saying on NBC’s “Meet the Press” last year, ”I support the Wisconsin Amendment to define marriage between a man and a woman.”

Katie Belanger, executive director of Fair Wisconsin, dismissed the notion that a Vice President Ryan would be a champion for LGBT equality upon taking the oath of office.

“Rep. Ryan has maintained a consistently anti-fairness voting record on issues of importance to our community, during the last five congressional sessions, including voting in 2002 against a policy that members of Congress voluntarily adopted to prohibit discrimination based on sexual orientation in their own congressional offices,” she said.

Chair of the House Budget Committee, Ryan is more well-known on Capitol Hill — and reviled by progressive groups — for the taking the lead on Republican versions of annual budgets for U.S. government that would zero out funding for Medicare in favor of a voucher system and privatize a portion of Social Security.

Continue reading at the Washington Blade

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