After a constituent commented on his poor rating on the Human Rights Campaign’s legislative index, Rep. Paul Ryan said at a town hall meeting this week that he regrets voting against adoption rights for same-sex couples in 1999.
“Adoption, I’d vote differently these days,” he said. “That was, I think, a vote I took in my first term, 2000 or 1999. 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. I would vote that way. I do believe marriage is between a man and a woman, we just respectfully disagree with each other on that issue.”
Ryan also said he would vote in favor of the Employment Non-Discrimination Act, which would make it illegal to discriminate against a worker based on his or her sexual orientation, as a similar law was enacted in his home state decades ago. He said, however, that he would have to learn more about a transgender-inclusive version of the bill in order to decide how he would vote on that.
“They finally told the truth -- this is not about debt. If the Speaker and Mr. Ryan are right, why are they feeding us this austerity Kool-Aid all the time? Why are they sabotaging the economy by throwing hundred of thousands of jobs away in the sequestration? Why are they stunting our future by cutting the legs off our R&D programs and the National Institutes of Health? And why are they asking seniors and kids and the sick and the poor to go without health care and food security to pay for a fantasy crisis? Why? Because they have needed an excuse to do what they have been attempting for generations to do and that is disable the safety net, to get rid of Social Security, to get rid of Medicare, to get rid of unemployment, to get of everything that makes a social safety net in a civil society. This charade is built on the fundamental deception that we are on the brink of an economic apocalypse, so the politicians can wipe out programs that people need so that they can give tax breaks to the people at the top.”