WASHINGTON– The Human Rights Campaign (HRC), the nation's largest lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) civil rights organization, today announced for the first time ever members of Congress were scored on their support for marriage equality as part of its soon-to-be-released Scorecard for the 113th Congress.
“Marriage equality is a critical component of full equality for LGBT people and their families,” said David Stacy, HRC’s Government Affairs Director. “Inclusion of marriage equality in this scorecard helps constituents to assess their elected officials’ commitment to equality and fairness.”
HRC has long scored members of Congress based on their support of pro-equality legislation including nondiscrimination, protection from bias-motivated violence and domestic violence, and relationship recognition. Scoring support for marriage equality is the next logical step given its importance to full equality for LGBT people and their families.
Support for marriage equality in Congress is at an all-time high, with huge jumps in support in both the House and Senate. These dramatic increases are primarily due to major gains in support among Democrats—95% of Senate Democrats and 90% of House Democrats support marriage equality. While support among Congressional Republicans has also increased over the past two years—eight GOP members in the House and Senate combined—there is a clear disparity in support between parties.
There is consistently strong support from Democrats in all regions of the country in both the House and Senate. The Northeast region stands out with unanimous marriage equality support by Democrats in both chambers. Even the region with the lowest level of support—the South—has at least 75% support from Democrats in both chambers.
Key highlights include:
· Support for marriage equality at all-time high: With the U.S. House and Senate combined, support for marriage equality is at an all-time high of 45% (244) in the 113th Congress, up from 33% (179) in the previous Congress. Most polls show nationwide support for marriage equality in the mid 50’s.
· Big increases in both the House and Senate: Support for marriage equality leaped forward in both the House and Senate. 43% (188) of House members now support marriage equality, as opposed to 32% (143) in the last Congress. 56% (56) of Senators now support marriage equality, as opposed to 36% (36) in the last Congress.
· Overwhelming support by Democrats: A record-breaking 95% (52) of Senate Democrats now support marriage equality. This jumped dramatically from 68% (36) in the previous Congress. In the House of Representatives, support for marriage equality among Democrats is at an unprecedented 90% (184), which jumped from 72% (142) in the previous Congress.
· Increase in Support from Republicans: While no Republican Senators in the previous Congress supported marriage equality, 4 Republican Senators now do. In the House, 4 Republicans also now support marriage equality, up from just 1 in the previous Congress.
· Disparity between Democrats and Republicans. While a gain in support from Republicans is welcome news, there is a clear disparity in comparison between the parties. In the House and Senate combined, 236 Democrats support marriage equality, while 8 Republicans do.
· Unanimous support for marriage equality by Democrats in the Northeast region: An incredible 100% (52 in the House/15 in the Senate) of Democrats from the Northeast region support marriage equality.
· Consistently strong support among Democrats in all regions of the country: In addition to 100% support in the Northeast region, there is consistently strong support for marriage equality throughout the country by Democratic members of Congress.
o Northeast region: 100% (52) of House Dems / 100% (15) of Senate Dems
o South region: 76% (37) of House Dems / 75% (9) of Senate Dems
o Midwest region: 89% (31) of House Dems / 100% (12) of Senate Dems
o West region: 98% (62) of House Dems / 100% (16) of Senate Dems
Regions are broken down in the four standard Census Regions.
The marriage equality positions of non-voting Delegates in the House of Representatives were included in this analysis. Further analysis on the support of marriage equality for the scorecard can be found here.
Scheduled for release on Thursday, October 9th, the full HRC Scorecard for the 113th Congress will be available online here.
The Human Rights Campaign is America’s largest civil rights organization working to achieve lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender equality. By inspiring and engaging all Americans, HRC strives to end discrimination against LGBT citizens and realize a nation that achieves fundamental fairness and equality for all.
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