Paul Ryan: DADT Should Not Be Reinstated
Republican vice-presidential nominee Paul Ryan said in an interview with West Palm Beach NBC affiliate WPTV on Sunday that he believes the reinstalling Clinton Era compromise known as "Don’t Ask Don’t Tell" is not only unlikely, it’s undesirable.
"Now that it’s done, we should not reverse it," Ryan said in the interview. "I think that would be a step in the wrong direction because people have already disclosed themselves." Ryan thus joined his boss, presidential candidate Mitt Romney, who pretty much said the same thing back in November 2011.
When a reporter asked Romney how he felt about the Armed Forces now allows its military to serve openly, he answered, "That’s already occurred. I’m not planning on reversing that at this stage."
The news station points out that Ryan, who is a representative for Wisconsin, was one of the 160 Republicans and 15 Democrats in the House of Representatives to vote against DADT two years ago.
"I talked to a lot of good friends of mine who are combat leaders in the theater and they just didn’t think the timing of this was right to do this when our troops were in the middle of harm’s way in combat," Ryan said. "I think this issue is past us. It’s done. And, I think we need to move on."
DADT, which prohibited gay men and women from openly serving in the military, went into effect in 1993 and finally ended on Sept. 20, 2011, with the support of President Barack Obama.
Ryan’s remarks come after an academic study that was published on the one-year anniversary of DADT’s repeal and showed that the repeal has "no overall negative impact on military readiness or its component dimensions, including cohesion, recruitment, retention, assaults, harassment or morale," EDGE reported.
The Human Rights Campaign has given Ryan a zero rating when it comes to LGBT issues, EDGE reported. "Ryan’s record of voting against fairness, dignity and equality is out of touch with the majority of Americans and a fast growing majority of Republicans," Chad Griffin, HRC’s president, said. "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."
HRC’s officials point out that Ryan not only voted against DADT’s repeal but also opposed same-sex couples adopting and does not support marriage equality. He also voted to kill the Employment Non-Discrimination Act, a proposed law that would protect LGBT employees on the federal level. Additionally, in 2007 Ryan twice backed the Federal Marriage Amendment, which prohibits same-sex couples from getting married in the U.S.
Romney "is no better than Ryan’s on matters of LGBT equality," according to HRC.The GOP presidential nominee, who once promised in a run for the U.S. Senate that he would be more positive on gay issues than his then-opponent Mass. Sen. Ted Kennedy, opposes any form of same-sex relationship recognition and has signed the National Organization for Marriage’s "marriage pledge."
Even if Romney and GOP House were to try to reinstate DADT, the Republican chairman of the House Armed Services Committee, Rep. Howard "Buck" McKeon of California, said that he would not allow the president-elect to do so, according to the Associated Press.
"We fought that fight," McKeon told the media during an interview. He added that his goal is to "get the things that our warfighters need."