Ryan on LGBT
Ryan believes that marriage is fundamentally between a man and a woman, and favors a constitutional amendment banning same sex marriages.
He is opposed to workplace discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender, and broke ranks with a majority of House Republicans to support the Employment Non-Discrimination Act of 2007 (H.R.2015), a bill which prohibits employment discrimination, preferential treatment or quotas, on the basis of actual or perceived sexual orientation or gender identity by employers, employment agencies or labor organizations.
However, in 2009, Ryan voted against the Matthew Shepard Hate Crimes Prevention Act (S.909), a legislation aimed at expanding hate crimes definition to include crimes motivated by actual or perceived race, color, religion, national origin, ethnicity, gender, disability, or sexual orientation.
The Human Rights Campaign (HRC), a pro-LGBT lobby, gave Ryan a Congressional scorecard rating of 0/100 for the 111th Congress (January 3, 2009, until January 3, 2011).
Ryan on Marriage
Ryan opposes same sex marriages and supports a constitutional amendment banning it. He argues that marriage is not merely a legal arrangement between individuals and is an integral component of the society, and thus, should not be simply reduced to eligibility for benefits. Ryan voted in favor of the ultimately defeated Federal Marriage Amendment twice, in 2004 and 2006.
♦“Wisconsin’s First District Congressman Paul Ryan today voted in favor of H.R. 3313, legislation that prevents unelected, lifetime-appointed federal judges from ruling on the Defense of Marriage Act (current law) that provides that no state shall be required to accept same-sex marriage licenses granted in other states. This legislation passed the House of Representatives by a vote of 233-194.
The legislation provides that federal courts cannot strike down the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) and take away from the states the option Congress gave them to reject same-sex marriage licenses issued in another state if they want to. Nothing in this bill denies anyone the right to bring any claim they could otherwise bring. H.R. 3313 simply provides that cases involving the section of DOMA that protects states’ rights must be brought in state courts.
“I believe fundamentally that marriage is between a man and a woman. Although I support the constitutional amendment to protect marriage, that process cannot continue at this time given the failed attempt by the U.S. Senate to advance the amendment. Meanwhile, states could be forced to accept same-sex marriages because of a few judges in Massachusetts. This legislation protects each state’s right to protect marriage,” Ryan said.
“This legislation upholds states’ rights under current law, preventing federal judges from unilaterally overturning that law which could force states to accept same-sex marriage licenses issued in other states. Too frequently, federal judges wind up making law from the bench through their rulings. That’s not the proper role for them, and I’m glad the House has stepped forward to defend states’ rights,” Ryan said.
Through today’s vote, the House of Representatives upheld its responsibility to act as a check on federal judges that overstep their bounds.”
July 22, 2004: House Votes to Protect Marriage and States’ Rights, Prevent Power Play by Federal Judges, Press Release from the Office of Paul Ryan
♦“Wisconsin’s First District Congressman Paul Ryan today voted in favor of a Constitutional amendment maintaining that marriage in the United States consists solely of the union of a man and a woman. A majority of the House of Representatives voted in favor of the amendment (227-186), although it did not achieve the necessary 2/3 vote required under the amendment process.
“I believe that 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 said. “I had hoped that this amendment wouldn’t be necessary, but increasingly it appears that laws such as the Defense of Marriage Act will not be sufficient to protect marriage from certain courts that distort state and federal constitutional law.”
“Marriage is not simply a legal arrangement between individuals. The institution of marriage is an integral part of our civil society and its significance goes well beyond eligibility for benefits and similar considerations. Its future should not be left to a few overreaching judges or local officials to decide,” Ryan said. “That’s why I support this effort to amend our Constitution to protect marriage.”
In addition to clearly defining marriage as the union of a man and a woman, the federal marriage amendment would leave the matter of the creation of civil unions, domestic partnerships and other nonmarital arrangements to the state legislatures to determine.
In order to become part of the U.S. Constitution, this amendment must gain approval through one of the following two routes:
Both houses of Congress pass an amendment by a two-thirds majority. Once the amendment has passed both houses, it must be passed by three-fourths of the states’ legislatures.
A Constitutional Convention can be called by two-thirds of the states’ legislatures to propose one or more amendments. These amendments are then sent to the states to be approved by three-fourths of the legislatures or conventions. So far, this method has not been used to pass a Constitutional amendment.”
September 30, 2004: Ryan Votes for Marriage Protection Amendment, Press Release from the Office of Paul Ryan
Ryan on DADT (Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell)
Ryan voted against repealing the Don't Ask, Don't Tell Repeal Act of 2010 (H.R. 2965) in 2010. H.R.2965 was designed to provide for the repeal of the Department of Defense (DOD) policy concerning homosexuality in the Armed Forces.
Ryan on Adoptions
In 1999, Ryan voted in favor of H.R.2587 (District of Columbia Appropriations Act, 2000), which sought to prevent same-sex couples from receiving federal incentives of $5,000 for adoption of children in the District of Columbia.
♦ FEDERAL PAYMENT FOR INCENTIVES FOR ADOPTION OF CHILDREN
For a Federal payment to the District of Columbia to create incentives to promote the adoption of children in the District of Columbia foster care system, $5,000,000: Provided, That such funds shall remain available until September 30, 2001 and shall be used in accordance with a program established by the Mayor and the Council of the District of Columbia and approved by the Committees on Appropriations of the House of Representatives and the Senate:
♦ SEC. 131: None of the funds made available in this Act may be used to implement or enforce the Health Care Benefits Expansion Act of 1992 (D.C. Law 9–114; D.C. Code, sec. 36–1401 et seq.) or to otherwise implement or enforce any system of registration of unmarried, cohabiting couples (whether homosexual, heterosexual, or lesbian), including but not limited to registration for the purpose of extending employment, health, or governmental benefits to such couples on the same basis that such benefits are extended to legally married couples.