WASHINGTON, DC -- The Human Rights Campaign (HRC), the nation’s largest lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer (LGBTQ) civil rights organization, today released its Congressional Scorecard measuring support for LGBTQ equality in the 114th Congress. The scorecard shows continued strong support for LGBTQ equality from Democrats and growing bipartisan support for LGBTQ nondiscrimination protections. The 114th Congress saw a record number of Republicans vote at different times to affirm President Obama’s executive order prohibiting discrimination by federal contractors on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity.
“Today, the vast majority of Americans, including Republicans, Democrats and independents, believe that LGBTQ people deserve the same protections against discrimination as anyone else," said HRC President Chad Griffin. "But while this Congress reflected a growth in bipartisan support, it still failed to advance any pro-equality legislation and, too often, obstructed progress for the LGBTQ community. Millions of LGBTQ Americans and their families across a majority of U.S. states remain at risk of being fired, evicted or denied services simply because of who they are. We deserve elected officials who will stand up for our most basic rights and protections.”
With 190 Democrats in the House and Senate receiving perfect 100 scores, pro-equality legislation received exceptionally high levels of support from Democratic lawmakers. In comparison, one House Republican and one Senate Republican earned perfect scores.
“Building on our incredible support from Democratic elected officials, gaining ground with fair-minded Republicans is a critical next step to win the support we need to pass important legislation like the Equality Act,” added David Stacy, HRC’s Government Affairs Director. “Winning 62 Republican votes in the House is a historic achievement that can help lay the groundwork for future success.”
Members of Congress were scored based on their votes and co-sponsorships of pieces of legislation that are key indicators of support for LGBTQ equality. Despite the 114th Congress failing to enact any legislation to protect the LGBTQ community, majorities emerged in both chambers on key LGBTQ issues.
In the House, a historic total of 62 Republicans voted on amendments to affirm President Obama’s executive order prohibiting discrimination by federal contractors on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity -- nearly double the total from Republicans on previous LGBTQ non-discrimination votes. And in the Senate, bipartisan majorities voted for amendments supporting spousal benefits for same-sex couples, non-discrimination protections in runaway and homeless youth programs, and non-discrimination protections in education.
What’s more, the number of Republicans earning more than a 50 percent score doubled in the Senate and nearly doubled in the House since the last Congress. Three Republicans -- Reps. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-FL) and Bob Dold (R-IL) and Sen. Mark Kirk (R-IL) -- have endorsed the Equality Act.
Unfortunately, despite growing bipartisan support for LGBTQ issues, Congressional leadership did not bring any pro-LGBTQ legislation to the floor. Senate Republican leadership required super majorities on these key amendments, preventing passage. House Republican leadership shamefully held open a vote and flipped the votes of seven Republicans, torpedoing an LGBTQ equality amendment that would have otherwise passed.
o Average score for Democratic Representatives is 96.
o Average score for Republican Representatives is 10.
o Average score for Democratic Senators is 98.
o Average score for Republican Senators is 20.
The HRC Scorecard for the 114th Congress is available online at www.hrc.org/scorecard
The Human Rights Campaign is America’s largest civil rights organization working to achieve lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer equality. HRC envisions a world where LGBTQ people are embraced as full members of society at home, at work, and in every community.
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