September 30, 2016
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DADT Congressional "Scorecard" Released

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:

  • Repeal of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell,” to allow lesbians and gays to serve openly and honestly in the Armed Forces.  The May House vote on Rep. Murphy’s DADT  repeal amendment was scored as was the December vote on the stand-alone bill that ended up becoming law.  In the Senate, the failed vote to proceed to debate on the Defense bill to which DADT repeal was attached was scored.  Additionally, the two successful votes on the stand-alone bill (the motion to proceed and final passage) were scored.

  • The Matthew Shepard and James Byrd, Jr. Hate Crimes Prevention Act, to allow local law enforcement to access federal resources to investigate or prosecute violent crimes committed because of the victim’s sexual orientation or gender identity (the House votes for final passage and the motion to recommit were scored as was the Senate vote on Sen. Leahy’s hate crimes amendment);

  • Co-sponsorship of the Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA), to prohibit workplace discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity;

  • Co-sponsorship of the Tax Equity for Health Plan Beneficiaries Act (DP Tax), to equalize tax treatment for employer-provided health coverage for domestic partners;

  • Co-sponsorship of the Respect for Marriage Act (RMA), to repeal the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA);

  • Co-sponsorship of the Early Treatment for HIV Act (ETHA), to allow states to provide Medicaid coverage to HIV-positive persons;

  • Co-sponsorship of the Uniting American Families Act (UAFA), to provide same-sex partners of U.S. citizens equal immigration access;

  • House vote on Rep. Mark Souder’s amendment that would have prohibited funding for any program which distributes sterile needles or syringes for the hypodermic injection of any illegal drug;

  • Senate vote on Sen. Robert Bennett’s amendment to suspend the issuance of marriage licenses to same sex couples in the District of Columbia and require a referendum;

  • Senate votes on the nominations of Elena Kagan and Sonia Sotomayor to the U.S. Supreme Court.


VIEW ENTIRE SCORECARD HERE

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.


STORY TAGS: General, Black News, African American News, Latino News, Hispanic News, Minority News, Civil Rights, Discrimination, Racism, Diversity, Racial Equality, Bias, Equality



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