HRC Blog

HRC Report: Republicans Supporting LGBT Workplace Protections Enjoy Enormous Re-Election Rates

HRC released a new report today showing that no Republican state legislator who voted for LGBT workplace non-discrimination protections has lost re-election because of that vote. The report, available at www.hrc.org/GOPreport, shows that over the course of 31 different votes in 21 states over the past 30 years, 451 Republican state legislators have voted in favor of LGBT workplace non-discrimination protections.

Other key findings from the report include:

  • Of the 451 Republican lawmakers who supported LGBT workplace non-discrimination protections, 375 were eligible to run for re-election and 342 won their races.
  • In five states, Republican support was critical to a bill’s passage:
    • Vermont (1991, sexual orientation)
    • Rhode Island (1995, sexual orientation)
    • New Hampshire (1997, sexual orientation)
    • New York (2002, sexual orientation)
    • Delaware (2013, gender identity)
  • In New Hampshire, 94 Republicans supported the state’s 1997 bill banning employment discrimination based on sexual orientation – and Republicans controlled both chambers of the state legislature at the time. Of those supportive Republicans, 94 percent won re-election.
  • The majority of the Republican lawmakers who did not win re-election either lost to a Democrat in the general election, or lost to a Republican challenger while coming under fire for other issues, like the economy.
  • Some states passed sexual orientation and gender identity bills separately, while some passed them simultaneously. Of the 31 votes on LGBT workplace non-discrimination protections, 13 were for laws on the basis of sexual orientation, 10 were for gender identity and 8 covered both.
  • Currently, 21 states and the District of Columbia have passed laws that prohibit employment discrimination based on sexual orientation; and 17 states and D.C. also prohibit discrimination based on gender identity.

The report comes a week before the U.S. Senate is set to consider ENDA, which would protect LGBT employees from workplace discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender identity. The bill is sponsored by Republican Senator Mark Kirk (Ill.), and Susan Collins (Maine) also is a co-sponsor. Three Republican Senators – Kirk, Orrin Hatch (Utah) and Lisa Murkowski (Alaska) voted to advance the bill out of a Senate committee earlier this year.

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