Former US Republican Vice Presidential candidate Paul Ryan, has shifted his stance to support same-sex couples being allowed to adopt, but has said that he still opposes equal marriage.

Ryan, who was running mate for Mitt Romney, during his Presidential campaign in 2012, said on Monday that he now thought that gay couples should be allowed to adopt, but went on to say that he still opposed equal marriage.

The video, posted by ThinkProgress, shows a town hall meeting in Wisconsin, for which Ryan is a state Representative, during which he was challenged by a member of the audience on a number of gay rights issues.

“I’d vote differently these days,” Ryan said on same-sex adoption, going on to note that he made the original vote against equal adoption rights in his first term.

“I do believe that if there are children who are orphans who do not have a loving person or couple — I think if a person wants to love and raise a child they ought to be able to do that. Period.”

He went on, however, to clarify his stance opposing equal marriage, saying that he and the audience member disagreed, and that it should only be available to heterosexual couples.

He said: “I do believe that marriage is between a man and a woman, we just respectfully disagree with each other on that, I understand it’s a tough issue. Where this is going in law is going to be something to watch this year, as the Supreme Court deals with this.”

He was then challenged again by the audience member, who asked him to explain why he thought gay people should not be able to marry, to which he replied: “I’ve always supported things like civil unions,” and cited several benefits which often come with such unions.

“I’ve always believed that, in society, there ought to be a high-value placed upon marriage as between a man and a woman.”

Ryan, said in September that he thought reinstating Don’t Ask Don’t Tell, the ban on LGBT troops would be wrong, that the issue is “done” and that the US should “move on”.

Despite originally voting against the repeal of DADT, he said that he thought the timing was wrong, but that it still should not be brought back into effect.