Post submitted by Viet Tran (he/him/they/them), former HRC Press Secretary
Today, the Human Rights Campaign released its Congressional Scorecard measuring support for LGBTQ equality in the 116th Congress. Members of Congress were scored based on a range of key indicators of support — from votes in the House to pass pro-equality legislation like the Equality Act to votes in the Senate to confirm anti-LGBTQ Trump-Pence cabinet officials and judicial nominees, as well as 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 four years unleashing relentless attacks on the LGBTQ community, the last two years have seen the development of a critical backstop with the pro-equality majority in the U.S. House of Representatives,” said HRC President Alphonso David. “Today HRC released its Congressional Scorecard for the 116th Congress, an important tool to understand your elected officials’ records on issues that impact the LGBTQ community and society’s most marginalized. We hope it is a valuable resource in holding your elected officials accountable in our shared work towards meaningful, positive change.”
For the 116th Congress, a record number of 228 members of Congress earned a perfect 100 score. 227 Democrats and one Independent in the House and Senate received perfect 100 scores. In comparison, zero Republicans earned perfect scores. There was an increase for the average score among House Democrats in comparison to the 115th Congress.
The pro-equality majority in the House resulted in the opportunity for Representatives to vote on a number of crucial measures, including the Equality Act, the Violence Against Women Reauthorization Act, the John R. Lewis Voting Rights Act, the American Dream and Promise Act, the Bipartisan Background Checks Act and an amendment to end the ban on transgender military service. The House also defeated anti-equality amendments and voted to impeach President Trump.
Senate leadership, however, refused to advance substantive pro-equality measures, and instead spent the last two years focused on confirming Trump Administration officials and judicial nominations, including William Barr to be Attorney General as well as anti-equality judicial appointments of Matthew Kacsmaryk, Steven Menashi, Lawrence VanDyke and Justin Walker. The Senate also failed to advance meaningful police reform and voted to not hold President Trump accountable for his actions interfering in the 2020 presidential election.
In addition to these crucial votes, the congressional scorecard tracks co-sponsorship of pro-equality legislation, including the Equality Act, John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act, Do No Harm Act, Therapeutic Fraud Prevention Act, Safe Schools Improvement Act, Every Child Deserves a Family Act, FAMILY Act and International Human Rights Defense Act.
The HRC Congressional Scorecard is a snapshot of the most significant actions in the current Congress related to LGBTQ issues. It reflects votes and co-sponsorships, but does not measure all actions individual Members of Congress take, either positive and negative.
The HRC Scorecard for the 116th Congress is available online at www.hrc.org/scorecard.
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