Romney names anti-gay Paul Ryan as running mate

With a long record of voting against gay rights, the social and economic conservative is likely to appeal to staunch right-wingers

Romney names anti-gay Paul Ryan as running mate
11 August 2012

US Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney has named Paul Ryan, who has voted frequently against gay rights, as his running mate.

As Ryan is seen as a social and economic conservative, it is expected he will appeal to staunch Republicans.

Like Romney, Ryan has a long record of voting against gay and human rights.

The Wisconsin politician, like Romney, has voted against marriage equality and adoption by same-sex couples.

In 2004, he voted for amending the US constitution to federally ban same-sex marriage.

At the time, he said: ‘I believe marriage should remain between a man and a woman, and I have heard from many of the people I represent who are concerned about activist judges abusing their power and rewriting our society’s definition of marriage.’

Ryan voted against repealing ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’ in 2010 and against the Matthew Shepard and James Byrd Jr. Hate Crimes Protection Act in 2009.

President Barack Obama has called these two key legislative accomplishments as a sign of his success on advancing an agenda of LGBT equality.

A practicing Catholic, Ryan has often said his faith is an influence on his policy.

In 2003, Ryan voted in favor of the Marriage Protection Act, which would have prevented federal courts from considering and possibly overturning the Defense of Marriage Act.

Last year, Ryan also proved his social conservatism when he voted to ban any federal funds to pay for abortion, and has voted to restrict interstate transportation of minors to get abortions.

He is perhaps best known for his controversial alternative budget, produced to counter President Barack Obama’s budgets in 2011 and 2012, known as the Path to Prosperity.

The budget proposed saving $261bn (£166bn, €212bn) over a decade by reducing pensions, cutting food aid and bringing large changes to government-funded healthcare.

Catholic Georgetown University blasted Ryan and the budget, who accused him of ‘profoundly misreading Church teaching’, and urging the government to ‘not walk away from the most vulnerable’.

The budget was also dismissed by Obama as ‘deeply pessimistic’.

Ryan has earned a 0% rating from the Human Rights Campaign, and a 90% rating from anti-gay hate group Family Research Council when he voted for 9 out of the 10 actions FRC supported.

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