Chad Griffin | Discrimination | ENDA | News | Paul Ryan

Paul Ryan Says His Position is 'Very Clear' on ENDA, Chats with HRC's Chad Griffin at Baldwin Reception: VIDEO


Think Progress caught up with Rep. Paul Ryan on Capitol Hill on Thursday and asked him about LGBT non-discrimination legislation.

Says Ryan: "My position is very clear on ENDA."


Think Progress notes that Ryan's position, unfortunately, is not so clear.

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.


Griffin_ryanIn related news, HRC President Chad Griffin was snapped by the Washington Blade's Chris Johnson chatting with Ryan, who attended fellow Wisconsinite Tammy Baldwin's swearing-in reception:

Later, Griffin told the Blade he wanted to speak with him because LGBT advocates can’t only talk with their allies.

“Look, it’s just as important that we talk to our friends as it is that we talk to those who are often against us,” Griffin said. “And so, I introduced myself and thanked him for being here at Tammy’s event and told them I hope we can find some things together to work together on.”

Asked for specifics on what they could find in common, Griffin replied, “It was a private conversation. So, I’ll leave it at that. But it was general conversation about my desire to find some common ground on things.”

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  1. All the luck in the world with that common ground nonsense.

    Posted by: Butch | Jan 4, 2013 11:51:40 AM

  2. I was hoping never again to hear the name of this opportunist who will say anything that he thinks will advance his career. Griffin also doesn't seem like such a great leader, but I'll reserve judgment for the time being.

    Posted by: Paul R | Jan 4, 2013 12:08:15 PM

  3. The empty Paul Ryan and the hopelessly ineffectual HRC. That is like the Super Bowl of Lameness.

    Posted by: Mike in nyc | Jan 4, 2013 12:46:17 PM

  4. As a Wisconsinite, I can assure you that any perceived common-ground is an illusion. This man is a pompous, self-righteous, self-serving lackey of big money and a devotee of Ayn Rand's philosophy (even as he tried to distance himself from her in the last election.) If Paul Ryan comes to you with a proposal that seems reasonable -- RUN! There's something hidden under it which is detrimental to the common good; you can be sure of it.

    Posted by: Alex Parrish | Jan 4, 2013 1:06:17 PM

  5. I'm sure we all dislike Ryan, but there is a real issue here about why a gay rights bill is suddenly unacceptable unless it is stuffed with a "gender identity" provision. From the early 1970s and after, gay rights bills did not have any provision covering "transgender" issues. Somehow, all of these gay rights laws worked perfectly well, protecting everyone from discrimination based on sexual orientation. Now, thanks to the idiotic concept of LGBT, HRC has been forced to take the position that it would rather have no gay rights whatsoever than a gay rights law that doesn't cover "gender identity." That is why we have no federal gay rights law today.

    But it is even worse than that. Transgenders now have a ruling from the EEOC that they are covered by the Civil Rights Act of 1964, so they are protected under federal law and we aren't. The "trans community" certainly didn't reject that protection on the grounds that it didn't extend to gays. Apparently, "LGBT" only puts obligations on gay people, but never on selfish trans activists. No, the gays still have to sacrifice ENDA so this group of mostly straight crossdressers and transsexuals are included, even when they are already covered by another law. LGBT is truly the biggest con job in gay history and embracing it is the biggest mistake the gay community ever made.

    Posted by: Suze | Jan 4, 2013 1:08:09 PM

  6. Suze, I call your bluff.

    Behind every "anti-trans" Gay Person, is a cowardly sack-of-s**t troll with no integrity nor intelligence at their disposal.

    And I'll say this as a Canadian: how come we've been able to include trans-inclusivity in our country and you can't in yours? Stop looking at your shoes and wondering "how this could work" and take a good look hard North to see how another country has, for centuries, managed to find solutions to the very problems plebes like you insist can't be overcome in your own country.

    But yeah, I'm calling your bluff. One more anti-transgendered coward who vents their fury anonymously because they don't have the spine to stand up to be counted.

    Every gay person who does not support their transitioning and transgendered brothers and sisters deserves every ounce of the bigotry and prejudice they'll continue to experience in life.


    *elegant curtsy*

    Posted by: LittleKiwi | Jan 4, 2013 1:18:11 PM

  7. And a lovely curtsy at that, LITTLEKIWI. Well said.

    Posted by: Marc C | Jan 4, 2013 1:24:04 PM

  8. There is absolutely no reason to ever include unrelated demographic characteristics like 'gender identity' in a law banning discrimination on 'sexual orientation'. No successful civil rights law has ever been passed by lumping in other irrelevant characteristics. The Civil Rights Act of 1964 would not have passed if it mentioned 'race' and 'sexual orientation'. Similarly, ENDA should be proposed only with its original language - banning discrimination on the basis of 'sexual orientation', not 'sexual orientation' and 'gender identity'. ENDA would have passed years ago with the correct and original scope and prevented thousands of gay individuals from losing their jobs and having their careers adversely affected. As gay civil rights activists, we all need to be writing our legislators and demanding that 'gender identity' be stripped from ENDA and be immediately passed with only 'sexual orientation'.

    Posted by: DB | Jan 4, 2013 1:35:48 PM

  9. What a sleazy, bought-and-paid-for creep! We really dodged a bullet with this weasal. To the people in Wisconsin who elected him to office - may yours be the first lives he ruins with his "policies".

    Posted by: Fahd | Jan 4, 2013 2:03:31 PM

  10. In hindsight, it is clear that ENDA would have passed in its original form, without the trans protections tacked on to it by transsexual militants. We missed a once in a generation opportunity, and instead were left with nothing. The same strategy has worked in Canada and could have worked in the USA as well.

    Posted by: niles | Jan 4, 2013 2:33:24 PM

  11. Suze, I feel like it's important to point out a few things: first of all, one cannot "reject" a court ruling, since it is an interpretation of the law. In many states, a statewide ENDA protects only on the basis of sexual orientation, and I don't see calls for people to "reject" those due to their lack of gender identity inclusion.

    Second, the trans community experiences a very high rate of LGB attraction, the few studies I've seen putting it around 2 in 3. Couple that with the fact that many trans people come out as gay before eventually coming out as trans, and you really understand that trans people are inextricably linked to LGB people. To suggest that including trans issues is "idiotic" ignores the facts and really implies a thought process based in anti-trans bigotry.

    I'll be honest, I'm curious how many "gay separatists" will end up being outspoken members of the next generation's NOM-equivalents.

    Posted by: TheDrDonna | Jan 4, 2013 2:34:57 PM

  12. It's amazing how so many Gay men are ready and willing to sell their trans brothers and sisters down the river. We are all in this equality struggle together. And if you expect African Americans to support our struggle for equality because we share a common history of bigotry and oppression then you should also support those with different gender identity.

    Posted by: sugarrhill | Jan 4, 2013 2:36:39 PM

  13. Sugarhill, it's merely a coward's response.

    anti-trans gay people possess the courage and integrity of a bowl of mashed potatoes.

    Posted by: LittleKiwi | Jan 4, 2013 2:50:00 PM

  14. Any politician who gives an answer like that is hiding something. Either he doesn't want to be quoted supporting gay rights or he doesn't want to be quoted opposing trans rights.

    Now, which to you think it is?

    He's obviously backtracking on ENDA.

    Posted by: BobN | Jan 4, 2013 2:56:09 PM

  15. "The empty Paul Ryan and the hopelessly ineffectual HRC. That is like the Super Bowl of Lameness." @Mike in NYC - lol

    Posted by: Mike B. | Jan 4, 2013 3:33:31 PM

  16. I'm sorry, I can't get past this -- Did they use a fish eye lens to make his nose look bigger? Or did it grow since the campaign? Like Pinochio's? You know, the more he talks, the bigger his nose gets. Is that it? Good thing Romney had him muzzled.

    Posted by: too cute to be catholic | Jan 4, 2013 4:19:08 PM

  17. Enough with the bashing of gays who don't believe that trans has anything to do with gay rights. No one is saying that trans people are deserving of discrimination, its just that MAJORITY of gay men (and I suspect a hell of a lot of lesbians) simply do not see the connection. We are not ignorant bigots, we are thoughtful people who have not been convinced that the rights of trans people belong in a discussion on sexual orientation rights. And we have every right to be pissed off that our civil rights movement was hijacked by a bunch of cowards who could not say NO to a very tiny minority of loudmouths who demand that they be brought to the table when they have not done a damn thing to deserve to be there.

    Posted by: dcinsider | Jan 4, 2013 4:31:11 PM

  18. So is it supposed to be somehow bad or weak of Chad Griffin that he spoke to Paul Ryan?

    Griffin is relatively new to the HRC so I don't have an opinion about his leadership one way or the other. (I was very critical of Joe Solomnese however.) But Griffin SHOULD talk to political leaders, even our enemies. Pin them down, even if only to get them to make hateful statements that can be exploited to erode support for them.

    What's really sad is that a Catholic die-hard and Ayn Rand fanboi like Ryan is even considered leadership material, but that has nothing to do with Chad Griffin.

    Posted by: Caliban | Jan 4, 2013 4:46:21 PM

  19. DCInsider, would you care to respond directly to my above statements and show me why the connection between LGB and trans folk that I describe is inaccurate?

    Posted by: TheDrDonna | Jan 4, 2013 4:47:30 PM


    thank you for being here. I didn't feel like reading the blog today but when I saw your posting name (along with KIWI and SUGARRHILL) I said, " oh, what the let's see what's being said".

    Just as you pointed out, THEDRDONNA, many Transfolk have the same sexual orientation as Gay folks. And sometimes they call themselves "Gay".

    Gay is an umbrella term just as Transgender is. It's been that way since the 1960s when I first started hearing the term "Gay" being used widespread.

    Being exclusive means that some b.tches just wanna' be special.

    Posted by: Derrick from Philly | Jan 4, 2013 5:06:18 PM

  21. Putrid Repug and Homo Robbing Committee were merely discussing which gym has the best sauna to hook up in hence the "private" aspect of their conversation.

    Posted by: DC Arnold | Jan 5, 2013 7:01:08 AM

  22. Isn't Paul Ryan the guy who said that he and Mitt Romney's first order of business, once elected, was to turn back the clock on civil rights for the gay community?

    Posted by: Bill Michael | Jan 6, 2013 12:06:42 AM

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