August 20, 2012

IconRomney chooses Ryan, and what this means to you

Mitt Romney’s recently announced running mate, Congressman Paul Ryan, is an appropriate choice for many reasons.

In addition to being an uber Republican, a die hard Catholic (you know, the kind that wants to involve itself in maneuvering women’s rights), and a wealthy white male looking to lower his friends’ taxes, he is also unequivocally against the rights of girls like you and me, and every other American under the LGBT umbrella. This guy’s voting history makes it very clear that he considers LGBT Americans to be “less than” and undeserving of equal rights. The Human Rights Campaign has rated him a big fat Zero on LGBT issues, and has for years, with the exception of one year where he scrabbled a ten. He has been vocally opposed to the rights of gay Americans throughout his career, until now.

Don’t let me confuse you, Paul Ryan is still adamantly against equal rights. The change isn’t in his views, but rather in his approach. In the past few weeks he has been diverting the focus away from the issue of LGBT rights’ and steering it more towards his big budget plan. This is unsurprising, considering the future of the country’s economy is on many people’s minds and it’s an integral piece of the campaign. Others are seeing it as a reflection that times have changed, that voicing a loud and proud opinion against equal rights is no longer a sure fire way to acquire more votes. Or maybe Mr. Ryan himself sees the inevitably of equal rights down the road, and wants to sever his ties to the losing side. Ok, that last part is a stretch, but it’s nice to think about.

Gay Republicans are clutching to that one time Congressman Ryan voted in favor of rights in the 2007 Employment Non-Discrimination Act (One time, people, one time. Years ago. After initially opposing the bill).  The reality is that twice he has voted against hate crime protection acts for LGBT people.  Two times he has backed the Federal Marriage Amendment that would ban same sex couples from marrying.  He voted against repealing “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell”, and he voted to ban adoptions by same sex couples in Washington DC.  It is clear where this Congressman stands.

And then there are those who are celebrating Romney’s choice, figuring that this bold move in the (far) right direction will guarantee Obama’s re-election. Democrats and other Obama supporters see this choice as one that will isolate the less than zealous Republican voters and ultimately give Obama the extra push needed to stay in the White House. Only time will tell.

This I do know: No matter what your politics are, no matter how fiercely you long for an economic breakthrough, if you identify as LGBT, or if you love your family and friends who identify as LGBT, the Romney/Ryan team is a formidable pair. Not only do they back the current laws that strip us of our rights, but they want to implement more equality-stripping laws. Congressman Ryan may look young, congenial, and handsome (find him shirtless on TMZ), but make no mistake, this man, and his equality stomping ways, need to be taken seriously.

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Maria Burnham


‘Define Me’ – Ryan Amador (featuring Jo Lampert)

The song DEFINE ME was released exclusively on Ryan Amador’s bandcamp ( in conjunction with Ryan’s live performance at the True Colors LGBT Youth Conference on March 22nd. It was produced by David Baloche for Grove Street Studios. 100% of its proceeds will be donated to organizations actively involved with the LGBT equality campaign.

April 22, 2013