Metro Weekly

Delgaudio: Paul Ryan is “homosexual lobby’s Trojan Horse for Speaker”

Loudoun County Supervisor knocks leading candidate for Speaker of the House for support of ENDA in 2007

Paul Ryan
Paul Ryan (Photo: United States Congress).

As U.S. Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wisc.) prepares to assume the mantle of Speaker of the House, announcing his candidacy for the position on Thursday evening, a local Virginia county supervisor is warning his fellow conservatives that Ryan is insufficiently conservative when it comes to a hardline stance in opposition to LGBT rights.

Loudoun County Supervisor Eugene Delgaudio (R-Sterling), best known for his socially conservative positions and particularly his opposition to homosexuality, is the founder and president of the conservative political advocacy group Public Advocate of the United States, which opposes same-sex marriage, homosexuality, abortion and what it sees as other attacks against the traditional family. Delgaudio, who is himself up for re-election on Nov. 3 of this year, is circulating an online petition opposing Ryan assuming the Speakership. 

According to the Loudoun Times-Mirror, Delgaudio is calling Ryan the “homosexual lobby’s Trojan Horse for Speaker,” and is criticizing Ryan in the online petition for a 2007 vote in favor of a version of the Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA) that only provided nondiscrimination protections for sexual orientation, and not for gender identity. According to Delgaudio, the vote for ENDA — or what he calls “the Gay Bill of Special Rights”  — “tramples the Constitutional Rights of Americans who oppose the radical Homosexual Agenda, while granting ‘protected class’ status to sexual deviants…”

Delgaudio has accused Paul Ryan of betraying “traditional values” by voting for the bill in 2007 and indicating support for similar nondiscrimination legislation in subsequent congressional sessions. Delgaudio told the Times-Mirror that he opposes ENDA because he does not feel it protects religious liberties and people who oppose LGBT rights or support the traditional definition of marriage. Delgaudio also says he believes the bill will harm the economy by heaping burdensome federal regulations on top of potential employers. 

Delgaudio also said he has a preferred candidate for Speaker but would not divulge that person’s name. In speaking with The Daily Beast, Delgaudio even suggested that former Democratic presidential candidate and former Sen. Jim Webb (D-Va.) would be a better Speaker than Ryan. 

In 2013, after the Senate passed a more inclusive version of ENDA, a spokesman for Ryan’s office told The Hill newspaper that “Congressman Ryan does not believe someone should be fired because of their sexual orientation.” However, that statement also warned that Ryan believes that any ENDA-type legislation should be “narrowly crafted to guard against unintended consequences.”

But despite Delgaudio’s claims that Ryan is somehow a secret supporter of LGBT equality, neither his personal voting record from recent congressional sessions — he scored a zero on the Human Rights Campaign’s congressional scorecard for the 113th Congress that ran from January 2013 to January 2015 — nor his courtship of conservatives within the hard-right Freedom Caucus, whose votes he needs to be chosen as Speaker, seem to indicate a willingness to bring or even allow pro-LGBT legislation to be brought to the floor for a vote.

“When the Freedom Caucus talks about opening up the process, they are not talking about allowing Democratic amendments,” says David Stacy, director of government affairs at the Human Rights Campaign, noting that it is often Democrats who add pro-LGBT amendments to bills being considered by either chamber. “What they’re saying is they don’t want to have their amendments, from the right, blocked. … I don’t foresee significant reform happening to the House process, and I don’t think what would satisfy the Freedom Caucus would be a process that was more open to Democratic amendments.”

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