Paul Ryan Helped Kill Trans-Inclusive ENDA

By Sunnivie Brydum

Originally published on Advocate.com September 06 2012 2:39 PM ET

Republican vice-presidential nominee Paul Ryan voted in favor of protecting gay, lesbian, and bisexual employees from discrimination in 2007, but refused to support a version of the legislation that added gender identity to the protected characteristics.

ThinkProgress LGBT reports that Ryan cast the only pro-gay vote of his career in 2007 when he voted in favor of the Employment Non-Discrimination Act. ENDA would make it illegal to fire a person because of their sexual orientation or gender identity.

According to a 2010 Roll Call article, Ryan pushed bill sponsor — and out gay Democrat — Rep. Barney Frank to drop the protections for transgender Americans, saying he could not vote for the bill if it included such language.

"'It makes it something you can't vote for,'" Ryan told Roll Call. "'I think ENDA's the right thing to do,' but transgender language 'changes the equation.'"

ThinkProgress LGBT's Josh Israel summed it up beautifully: "By refusing to support a fully inclusive version of the Employment Non-Discrimination Act, Ryan helped perpetuate the very real discrimination that transgender Americans face — because he thought that protecting them was 'something you can't vote for.'"