Ryan, Romney’s VP Pick, Stirs Viral Response from LGBT Group

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August 11, 2012; Source: Boston Globe

It didn’t take long for Human Rights Campaign (HRC), the nation’s largest lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) advocacy group, to react to presumptive Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney’s announcement of his running mate, Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wisc.). The HRC Blog’s reaction to the Republican presidential ticket was headlined “Romney-Ryan Ticket Out of Touch with Americans on LGBT Equality.” The blog post highlights the fact that Ryan’s congressional voting record and public remarks reflect his lack of support “for the dignity of LGBT Americans” and how out-of-touch the Washington insider is with the majority of Americans—including some in the Republican Party—who support equal treatment of queer individuals and families.

A related HRC infographic has gone viral on Facebook. It spells out “4 Things You Need to Know About Paul Ryan, Mitt Romney’s Vice Presidential Nominee.” The graphic notes that Ryan: voted for a constitutional amendment banning same-gender marriage, voted against the Hate Crimes Prevention Act; supports banning gay adoptions in the District of Columbia; and received a 0% rating on HRC’s Congressional Scorecard. The infographic apparently didn’t contain enough space to include the fact that Ryan opposed the repeal of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell,” the discriminatory law which prohibited openly gay women and men from serving in the military, or that he does not support the Employment Nondiscrimination Act. HRC is just as explicit about Mitt Romney’s anti-LGBT record, which Dan Rafter, the nonprofit’s online campaigns manager, characterizes as “no better than Ryan’s on matters of LGBT equality.”

HRC has been cozy with the Obama administration and HRC’s campaign against the Republican ticket should come as no surprise. The organization, like many other LGBT advocates and allies, is fighting for the equal treatment and dignity of America’s LGBT friends, family, and fellow citizens. If Romney, Ryan and most of the Republican Party didn’t adopt anti-LGBT positions, then perhaps they wouldn’t have such determined and energized opponents. – Erwin de Leon