Paul Ryan is getting a lot of attention for reversing his past opposition to same-sex adoptions, though he still opposes same-sex marriage.

This leads to a rather obvious follow-up question that has nothing to do with sexual orientation: Is Ryan saying he’s in favor of cohabitation outside wedlock, sanctioned by the state through adoptions? Sounds like he’s got a lot of explaining to do to his bishop, aside from his chronic problems with Catholic teachings about poverty and social justice.

More generally, Ryan’s decision to make this topic his next step towards public opinion on same-sex equality reflects the often-forgotten reality that Alison Gash wrote about in the May/June issue of the Washington Monthly: same-sex adoptions were an important beachhead in the battle for equality that the Cultural Right forgot to defend.

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Ed Kilgore is a political columnist for New York and managing editor at the Democratic Strategist website. He was a contributing writer at the Washington Monthly from January 2012 until November 2015, and was the principal contributor to the Political Animal blog.