Post submitted by Stephen Peters, former Senior National Press Secretary and Spokesperson
Today, with only 20 days left until the crucially important midterms, HRC released its Congressional Scorecard measuring support for LGBTQ equality in the 115th Congress. Members of Congress were scored based on a range of key indicators of support for LGBTQ equality — from votes in the Senate to confirm anti-LGBTQ Trump-Pence cabinet officials and judicial nominees to votes and co-sponsorships in both chambers on pieces of legislation that significantly impact LGBTQ people and their families.
“While Donald Trump and Mike Pence have spent the past two years unleashing relentless attacks on the LGBTQ community, the 115th Congress has done little to hold them accountable or pass LGBTQ equality, while doing a great deal to undermine the rights of the most vulnerable members of our community,” said HRC President Chad Griffin. “The HRC Congressional Scorecard serves as an important tool to understand where Members of Congress stand on LGBTQ equality. As we face one of the most important elections of our lifetime, HRC’s Congressional Scorecard makes clear that it is crucial for fair-minded voters turn out in force to elect a pro-equality majority to Congress.”
For the 115th Congress, 184 Democrats in the House and Senate received perfect 100 scores. In comparison, zero Republicans earned perfect scores. There was also a slight increase for the average score among House Democrats in comparison to the 114th Congress.
With 246 cosponsors, The Equality Act — critically important federal legislation that would finally add clear, comprehensive non-discrimination protections for LGBTQ people to our nation's civil rights laws — has record support in both the House and Senate. The Therapeutic Fraud Prevention Act, International Human Rights Defense Act, Voting Rights Advancement Act, Freedom from Discrimination in Credit Act, and the Juror Non-Discrimination Act/Jury ACCESS Act all also have record support in both chambers.
In addition to votes on LGBTQ-specific legislation like the deeply discriminatory Hartzler Amendment, the scorecard also includes a number of votes beyond LGBTQ-specific measures that profoundly impact LGBTQ people and their families. From votes to refuse to provide Title X family planning grant funds to Planned Parenthood — one of the largest providers of trans-competent care in the country and a vital source of healthcare for women, especially low-income women — to attempts to repeal core provisions of the Affordable Care Act, the measures scored all significantly impact the LGBTQ community.
- 184 Members of Congress earned perfect scores (184 Democrats, 0 Republicans).
- The average score for Representatives is 47.6.
- Average score for Democratic Representatives is 97.6.
- Average score for Republican Representatives is 5.6.
- The average score for Senators is 48.7.
- Average score for Democratic Senators is 94.8.
- Average score for Republican Senators is 2.5.
- The Northeast and West continue to elect Members of Congress with strong support of LGBTQ equality; the average score for Representatives and Senators from the Northeast was 73.8 and 89.9 respectively; in the West it was 66.0 and 53.1 respectively.
The scorecard is a critically important tool for voters as the nation heads into the final days before the midterm elections. For more than a year, HRC has been on the ground building support for pro-equality candidates with priority investments in six key states — Arizona, Michigan, Nevada, Ohio, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin — and in nearly 70 congressional districts nationwide. The critically important work is a part of coast-to-coast campaign to mobilize voters for the midterm elections called HRC Rising, which represents the largest grassroots expansion in the organization’s 38-year history.
The estimated 10 million LGBTQ voters across the nation have proven to be one of the most important voting blocs in the nation. And with support for LGBTQ equality at historic heights, HRC has used sophisticated analytics to identify and mobilize 52 million “Equality Voters” nationwide who support LGBTQ-inclusive policies including marriage equality, equitable family law, and laws that would prohibit discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity.
The HRC Scorecard for the 115th Congress is available online at www.hrc.org/scorecard