While last night’s first presidential debate may have avoided any LGBT issues as GOP presidential contender attacked President Barack Obama over everything from the economy to healthcare (sans the fact checking), Romney’s vice presidential choice Paul Ryan blasted marriage equality during an interview with anti-gay group Focus on the Family.
In the interview, Ryan vowed that he and Romney would fight against LGBT rights. And while Romney once enjoyed a fairly supportive view of gay issues while governor of Massachusetts, like many issues, he’s done a 360 to appeal to more conservative voters. And Ryan seems to be his not-so-secret weapon in this regard as he pandered to the group, which, we should note, believes in things like reparative therapy – or “praying” the gay away. In fact, while campaigning in Colorado earlier this week before last night’s debate, Romney even mentioned Focus on the Family in a positive light – a group that the Southern Poverty Law Center classifies as a hate group.
Here’s what Ryan said:
“We believe marriage is between one man and one woman, that’s number one,” says Ryan in the interview. “Number two, you know where I come from we had one of those amendments in Wisconsin, I was a big supporter of it and we passed it like you say, where it’s put on the ballot it passes. The second point is, President Obama gave up defending the Defense of Marriage Act in the courts, I mean, not only is this decision to abandon this law the wrong decision, it passed in a bipartisan manner, it is very troubling because it undermines not only traditional marriage, but it contradicts our system of government. It’s not the president’s job to pick and choose which laws he likes. A Romney administration will protect traditional marriage and the rule of law and we will provide the Defense of Marriage Act the proper defense in the courts that it deserves.”
Protect marriage? The language that Ryan and other anti-gay folks use tends to be misleading, especially when you remember that passing laws that deny someone’s right to marry is anything but protecting marriage. It’s a lot like groups like Focus on the Family that really have very little to do with “family values” when you consider how much time and money they put in to denying all families (not just straight Christian ones) the same opportunities under the law.