On Nov. 12, the city council of Paul Ryan's hometown, Janesville, Wisconsin, voted to extend domestic partnership benefits to city employees. According to advocacy group Fair Wisconsin, the measure passed with a vote of 6 to 1, a near-unanimous agreement to extend employee benefits to domestic partners.
“This decision marks an important victory for fairness," Fair Wisconsin's Katie Belanger said in a statement after the vote. "Janesville’s vision for creating an inclusive and welcoming workplace makes them a leader in our efforts to build a more fair and just state for all Wisconsinites.”
Though Janesville -- where Ryan was born, raised and continues to live -- overwhelmingly supported this measure, Ryan has been markedly clear about his opposition to gay rights, and has voted against gay rights legislation on multiple occasions.
Ryan voted for the Marriage Protection Act, which was meant to limit federal courts' jurisdiction over questions regarding the Defense of Marriage Act, in 2003 and again for the Federal Marriage Amendment in 2004 and 2006.
"The institution of marriage is an integral part of our civil society and its significance goes well beyond eligibility for benefits and similar considerations," Ryan said in a statement after the Marriage Protection Act vote. "Its future should not be left to a few overreaching judges or local officials to decide.”
Wisconsin became the first state with a constitutional amendment banning civil unions in favor of domestic partnerships in 2009.