The two main groups devoted to reaching out and representing gay Republicans and conservatives praised Mitt Romney's selection today of Wisconsin Rep. Paul Ryan as his running mate — a marked contrast to the less excited response the groups had to Romney's selection by voters to head the ticket.
Saying that "nobody is more qualified to articulate a conservative economic vision to restore the American economy and stimulate job creation," Log Cabin Republicans executive director Clarke Cooper, whose group has not yet made an endorsement decision in the presidential race, praised Ryan's engagement on LGBT issues.
"Congressman Ryan’s 2007 vote in favor of the Employment Nondiscrimination Act and his consistent willingness to engage with Log Cabin on a range of issues speaks to his record as a fair-minded policymaker," Cooper said.
GOProud, known as the more conservative of the two groups, previously endorsed Romney on a split vote — but strongly cheered today's news, with executive director Jimmy LaSalvia saying that "[t]here is no better pick for Vice President than Paul Ryan."
In addition to the vote for ENDA in 2007, on gay and lesbian issues, LaSalvia said, “Gay Americans understand that without reforms – Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid will go bankrupt. The future prosperity for all Americans, regardless of their sexual orientation, is at stake if we do not act today. Paul Ryan authored bold Social Security reforms that would end the government’s discrimination against gay couples through personal savings accounts.”
The Human Rights Campaign, which is bipartisan and has endorsed some Republican congressional candidates in the past, has endorsed President Obama's re-election and unsurprisingly blasted the selection of Ryan. HRC president Chad Griffin said Ryan's voting record on LGBT issues — outside of the ENDA vote — as "out of touch with the majority of Americans and a fast growing majority of Republicans."
"LGBT Americans need leadership that will continue to fight for their rights to protect their families, marry the person they love, and enjoy equal protections under the law," Griffin said.
The partisan LGBT group on the left, National Stonewall Democrats, took aim at Ryan's record as well. Executive director Jerame Davis said, "Ryan's opposition to civil rights for LGBT people certainly matches Mitt Romney's, but unlike Romney's gutless pandering to the religious right, Ryan is a true believer. For LGBT voters, there's nothing in this pick but more disappointment and disregard."
Chris Geidner is the legal editor for BuzzFeed News and is based in Washington, DC. In 2014, Geidner won the National Lesbian & Gay Journalists Association award for journalist of the year.
Contact Chris Geidner at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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