Roll Call: Latest News on Capitol Hill, Congress, Politics and Elections
February 14, 2016

Paul Ryan Supports Gay Adoption, But Not Marriage

(Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

(Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Former GOP vice presidential nominee Rep. Paul Ryan, R-Wis., now supports the rights of gay Americans to adopt children, though he still believes marriage “is between a man and a woman.”

In a town hall meeting with constituents in Wisconsin on Monday, the House Budget Committee chairman said he has changed his mind on the adoption issue, even though his opinions on other aspects of gay rights have remained unchanged. To date, two Republican senators — Rob Portman of Ohio, who had been in the mix for Mitt Romney’s No. 2 spot, and Mark S. Kirk of Illinois — have come out in support of gay marriage.

“Adoption, I’d vote differently these days. That was I think a vote I took in my first term, 1999 or 2000. 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,” Ryan said in a video posted by the liberal website Think Progress. “I would vote that way. I do believe marriage is between a man and a woman, we just respectfully disagree on that issue.”

Ryan’s move to support gay adoption is a particularly interesting one, given his continued national ambitions and Portman’s reversal on gay marriage. Portman announced in March that his college-aged son, Will, is gay and that he could no longer oppose marriage equality.

In the past, Ryan has opposed almost every equality measure, getting a “0” on the Human Rights Campaign’s most recent Congressional scorecard. He opposed the repeal of “don’t ask, don’t tell,” supported the Defense of Marriage Act and voted against the Matthew Shepard Hate Crimes Protection Act, which expanded federal hate crime laws to protect the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community.

In his remarks Monday, Ryan said he has “always supported” civil unions. Though there is no evidence to support that, it’s a clear sign that the politics of the issue have changed and that even the most conservative Republicans need to appear more hospitable to gays and lesbians in order to expand their voting bloc.

“I’ve always supported things like civil unions where you ought to be granted certain legal privileges to be able to have benefits whether it’s estate planning benefits or visitation and things like that,” Ryan said.

But a story published by The Advocate, a gay and lesbian news magazine, when Romney named Ryan to his ticket, noted that Ryan supported a Wisconsin-based ban on gay marriage and civil unions in 2006.

“Reviews of Ryan’s record indicate that he has voted overwhelmingly against LGBT rights. He voted twice for the federal constitutional amendment against same-sex marriage, and supported the ban on same-sex marriage and civil unions approved by Wisconsin voters in 2006. Ryan voted against “don’t ask, don’t tell” repeal and hate crimes legislation, but he voted for the Employment Non-discrimination Act in 2007, when it included protections for sexual orientation but not gender identity,” the report said.

Daniel Newhauser contributed to this report.

  • GNH

    No matter whether you agree with him or not; Ryan caved. There’s just no other way to look at it. The paper/video trail is long and distinguished.

  • Robert Hudson

    total asshole….looking ahead to reelection…say the right soundbites….but don’t believe what you say. hypocritical to the max!

    • dragonfire777

      Like Obummer.

    • Ken Lee

      like Hillary

  • Joe Caravello

    I always thought Paul Ryan was GAY, But I didnt know he was adopted!!

  • rico

    perverts support perverts still dont, make it right

  • Craig Smith

    another gay comes out ..we are bring invaded

  • Paula Staie Carreon

    Another one bites the dust.
    What sad days we live in.

  • RU4Sure

    What an idiot. Like, it’s OK for gays to adopt but not marry?? What’s best for the child? To have two unmarried parents?? I’m surprised he is hedging on this issue… gays and lesbians should be able to adopt AND marry !!!

  • RU4Sure

    WOW, just read the posts here…. we sure have some uneducated stupid bigots on this board !!!

  • George Robinson

    fast forward to 2016, paul ryan dumps gay child after losing presidential nomination.

  • AmericanMale123

    Another politician ‘flip-flopping’ on the issues to gain popularity. Shame.

  • Ken Lee

    remember, Barry Obama just became in favor of gay marriage this year…Bill Clinton now finds his 1994 “Dont ask, Don’t tell” just awful. Paul Ryan is now weakening his core beliefs for political favor…and it won’t work…none of you libs will vote for him no matter his opinion on this issue..

  • Belle13A

    Civil Union is the Way. This keeps the issue under the law and out of the Church! The Law of the state can make laws for the state. The state cannot make laws that dictate the Faith of a religion. Marriage is already defined, One Man. One Woman.
    Equal rights for same sex unions can only be made law under the state. Separation of Church & State is a good thing here. Most Christians have no objection to Render unto Caesar what is Caesar’s. Keep government out of the church.
    In MN where I am from; Civil Union has all the legal benefits as a (Marriage, a religious) ceremony performed in a church. If Civil Union for same sex couples had been on the ballot last fall it would likely have been passes. It is the re-defining of marriage that is opposed.
    Being gay does not make one a pedophile.
    Paul Ryan has made a sound decision. A home with a gay couple is better than no home at all and fine gay people can raise fine children.
    As a Christian, I believe God creates gay people too. Gay people who love God and have love to share with a family that includes children.

  • George Blumel

    Washington does that to people after being there too long. Term limits on congress would go a long way to reform the body –go to and sign the petition in support of the term limit amendment which has been introduced in congress with many co-sponsors. Ryan has been there 15 years –way too long.

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