Ryan Confused Over Anti-Discrimination Bill

Paul Ryan has long played silly games with the question of whether he supports the Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA), which would add sexual orientation and gender identity to federal anti-discrimination laws. As ThinkProgress notes:

When he was tapped as Mitt Romney’s running mate, the Log Cabin Republicans lauded his 2007 vote for the bill, his only pro-LGBT vote ever. However, Ryan personally lobbied its sponsor, Rep. Barney Frank (D-MA), to strip transgender protections from that version of the bill, a move that divided the LGBT community. Since then, every version of ENDA proposed by Democrats has included both sexual orientation and gender identity. Ryan refused to clarify his position during the campaign — most likely because of Romney’s opposition — and his position on a trans-inclusive bill remains muddled.

And now he doesn’t seem to understand why more Republicans don’t support ENDA:

KEYES: One of the things that might be coming up is the Employment Non-Discrimination Act.

RYAN: Oh, ENDA. I voted for that before.

KEYES: Do you think that the GOP should embrace this?

RYAN: My position is very clear on ENDA.

KEYES: Why do you think the Republican Party is not coalescing around it?

RYAN: I think it’s just, there are Republicans who support ENDA. I was one of them. I don’t know the answer to the question.

Of course he does, he just can’t say it out loud. Republicans aren’t supporting it because anti-gay bigots are a huge part of the Republican coalition and they know it. Those who aren’t bigots themselves are pandering to bigots.

Comments

  1. Anthony K says

    I think it’s just, there are Republicans who support ENDA. I was one of them. I don’t know the answer to the question.

    Methinks looking at the numbers of Republicans who support it vs. those who don’t would be a cinch for a Very Serious Person such as Paul Ryan.

  2. marcus says

    Katherine Lorraine, Chaton de la Mort @ 3 Could you give a brief explanation as to why that might be? As a cis-male “A” I am truly interested.

  3. says

    @Marcus:

    Sometimes for the same reasons as why non-allies see gender identity as a non-issue, sometimes because they feel that attaching the T to the end of LGB (and sometimes even the B) diminishes what can be asked for, sometimes because they think trans-people are icky.

  4. eric says

    Its very simple. The theory of Political Mechanics posits that his Votefunction will remain indeterminant until it interacts with an Electionopportunity. At that time, it will take on a specific Votevalue which can be calculated based on the detailed state of the Electionopportunity and the mathematical description of the interaction. Note, however, that if his Votefunction interacts with a different Electionopportunity at a later time, it may take on a different Votevalue.

  5. paulg says

    @Katherine – to turn it around a bit and defend most (but not all) gays, while I rarely hear of animus between gay people and trans people, when I have it’s been the other way around. Some trans people dislike being lumped in with us gays because they consider themselves straight (when their perceived gender is taken into account). I dislike that scorn very much. I don’t think gays dislike trans people, really, many simply would like to see as many gains as possible when we can get them. I’m not one of them, and think if trans people are left out it will take far longer for them to be protected. It’s a bit silly, while we may have different life experiences (I’m very attached to my penis and can’t imagine being otherwise), we’re all fighting for non-hetero (chromosomally or otherwise) equality.

  6. says

    I still don’t get the existence of the log cabin republicans. Does their devotion to voodoo economics really mean that much more than their need to be treated like full citizens with basic human rights?

  7. marcus says

    Dear Katherine and paulg, Thanks for the elucidation. I find this situation appalling. I hope that this is a representation of the opinions of a few outliers only and that those of us who seek equality, justice and freedom for all people will prevail. Peace.

  8. says

    Doug,

    Depending on the forums it can be very common, it mostly takes the form of ‘why should I wait for my rights just to cover them’. Unfortunately if we’re not included in the initial law the chances of later inclusion are effectively none. A for instance, New York passed SONDA, which did not include gender identity, in 2002. over a decade later trans people are still waiting for state wide protection.

  9. Michael Heath says

    d.c. wilson writes:

    I still don’t get the existence of the log cabin republicans. Does their devotion to voodoo economics really mean that much more than their need to be treated like full citizens with basic human rights?

    I saw a documentary a couple years ago about gays who voted Republican. The ones on the program were predominately conservative libertarians (ideology, not party affiliation). They mouthed the words of liberty while also revealing themselves to be authoritarian reality-denying bigots. They possessed one additional denialist component to the standard set – the GOP’s position on gay rights which they dismissed, minimized, or avoided when challenged.

    The others were the hawks that believe the GOP talking points about the economy. This group simply prioritized economic policy over the bigotry of the party they supported; however as I pointed out to heddle a couple of weeks ago, their priority is misguided because those positions are known to do the opposite of that which the GOP promises. Which makes this group idiots.

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