HRC Scorecard Rates Congress on GLBT Issues
HRC President Cheryl Jacques calls scorecard 'a crucial tool for fair-minded voters.'
WASHINGTON- The Human Rights Campaign today released its annual Congressional Scorecard rating U.S. representatives and senators on gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender issues in the 108th Congress. The scorecard will be mailed to nearly 225,000 members of HRC throughout the nation prior to the election on Nov. 2, 2004.
"Learning where members of Congress stand on equality issues is a crucial tool for fair-minded voters," said HRC President Cheryl Jacques.
"We hope that all Americans who support equality will learn where candidates stand and vote for fairness on November 2."
The scorecard rates co-sponsorship of HRC-supported bills as well as votes on important legislation including the Federal Marriage Amendment and the Marriage Protection Act, hate crimes measures, a bill against employment discrimination, a bill granting immigration equality to bi-national couples and the Early Treatment for HIV Act. For the first time, the scorecard double-weights the votes in the House of Representatives and the Senate on the Federal Marriage Amendment to underscore the importance this vote had for the GLBT community. All senators and representatives are also scored on whether they make a personal pledge not to discriminate on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity and expression in their congressional office employment decisions.
The scorecard also notes co-sponsorship of a bill to extend domestic partner benefits to federal employees, a bill to extend the Family and Medical Leave Act to same-sex couples and a bill to end the unfair taxation of domestic partner health insurance benefits.
"While we have focused tremendous energy and resources on defeating the Federal Marriage Amendment, this scorecard reinforces that HRC has a comprehensive and robust legislative agenda to achieve equality at all levels," said Jacques.
The GLBT vote in 2000 was estimated at 4 to 5 percent of the electorate - making the GLBT community a powerful constituency at the voting booth.
"Our voices and our allies' voices can and must be the deciding factor in close elections," said Jacques.
Download the 108th Congressional Scorecard.
The Human Rights Campaign is the largest national lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender political organization with members throughout the country. It effectively lobbies Congress, provides campaign support and educates the public to ensure that LGBT Americans can be open, honest and safe at home, at work and in the community.