Paul Ryan's Hometown Likes Gay Rights More Than He Does

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Janesville, Wisconsin ... that sounds familiar right?  It's the hometown of the Republican VP hopeful Paul Ryan who, among other things, really, really doesn't like gay rights. Well, last night Ryan's hometown voted overwhelmingly to give domestic partnership benefits to city employees.  The city council vote wasn't even close: 6-1 according to Fair Wisconsin, a gay rights advocacy group in the state.

Janesville is where Ryan was born, raised, and currently lives. And, as CBS News's Rebecca Kaplan noted, Ryan liked to mention Janesville on the campaign trail to get across his hometown values. "It's not a unique story, it's the American story, and the reason our family came and the reason everyone else's family came here is because of what this country stands for," Ryan said of Janesville back in August.  

Going by Ryan's whole "what this country stands for" connection, this country and Janesville have a more progressive stance on gay rights than Ryan, and he might want to rethink that connection when 2016 rolls around. You see, Ryan's House record shows him voting against Don't Ask Don't Tell repeal in 2011, against gay adoption in 2009, and against the Matthew Shepard and James Byrd Jr. Hates Crimes Prevention Act (which would have extended the number of people protected against hate crimes) in 2009. And on the campaign trail, he released statement after statement about how he hates the idea of gay marriage and wants to protect DOMA—which has been ruled unconstitutional by two federal courts now. That doesn't jibe with Janesville's recent vote. Then again, neither does Ryan. Last Tuesday, Ryan lost Janesville by 10 points for  Congress and 25 points (that means badly) for Vice President.   

This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.