WASHINGTON – The Human Rights Campaign has just released an updated version of its Congressional Scorecard for the 111th Congress including votes on “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” repeal near the close of the session.
“The 111th Congress will certainly go down in the history books as one of the most productive for the LGBT community,” said HRC President Joe Solmonese. “However much work remains to be done and new anti-LGBT congressional leaders create a much more challenging environment to achieve the kind of landmark progress we’ve seen.”
In the House, 161 members scored 90 percent or above, compared to 128 members in the 110th Congress. In the Senate, those scoring 90 percent and above rose from 32 to 36. But disturbingly, the number of Senators with a zero percent score nearly doubled from 16 to 29 this Congress. In addition, the number of House Members that consistently oppose LGBT equality remained essentially constant dropping slightly from 143 to 140.
With the new Congress, there is no denying that pro-LGBT numbers have shrunk on Capitol Hill. HRC’s analysis shows a pick-up of 53 House seats to anti-LGBT lawmakers as well as a 5 seat addition in the Senate. Not only do those opposing basic equality hold positions of power as House leaders and committee chairmen, their ranks have swollen to 225 – a solid majority of the chamber. This presents not just a roadblock to progress but also the threat of legislation that could be damaging to the community.
Votes and co-sponsorship of legislation scored in this Congress:
For each two year session of Congress since 1989, HRC has published a Congressional Scorecard that includes key Congressional votes and co-sponsorship of pro-LGBT legislation. It is a critical tool to assist fair-minded Americans in assessing the relative support or non-support of Members of Congress and to advocate for pro-equality legislation.
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.