House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan (R-WI) has made up his mind that marriage should only between a man and a woman so he says people shouldn't be "spending all this time" talking about the issue.


Less than nine months before the 2012 presidential election, social issues like contraception and same sex marriage have have made headlines at a time when people like Ryan were hoping to keep the economy on the front burner.

In the past week, Republican Gov. Chris Christie vetoed one same sex marriage bill in New Jersey while another equality bill in Maryland is one step closer to being signed by Democratic Gov. Martin O'Malley.

Three Republican presidential candidates -- Mitt Romney, Newt Gingrich and Rick Santorum -- have also loudly and repeatedly condemned a recent federal appeals court ruling striking down California's same sex marriage ban.

On Sunday, NBC's David Gregory asked Ryan if it was a "legitimate" issue for the country to be discussing.

"Actually, I came on to talk about the debt crisis we have and the budget," Ryan replied. "I support the Wisconsin amendment to define marriage between a man and a woman. Look, Bill Clinton signed into law the Defense of Marriage Act. If I recall from the last presidential campaign, President Obama and Vice President Biden said that they support marriage as being between a man and a woman."

"I don't know why were are spending all this time talking about this," he added. "We've got a debt crisis coming and the administration just gave us a budget that simply just charts another path to debt and decline. It's an unserious budget that just fails to tackle these challenges. And I think that's what we ought to be talking about."

Also appearing on NBC Sunday, Rep. Chris Van Hollen (D-MD) said that he supported the marriage equality measure that passed Maryland's House of Delegates last week.

Watch this video from NBC's Meet the Press, broadcast Feb. 19, 2012.