WASHINGTON – The Human Rights Campaign has released “2011 Flashpoints for LGBT Equality,” a media primer on the LGBT issues landscape for the coming year. The document includes a new analysis of the make-up of the 112th Congress being sworn in today and shows that anti-LGBT lawmakers hold a majority of seats in the U.S. House of Representatives. The full document is available below.
As the report states, this new year brings new challenges for LGBT people, but also new opportunities. Last year’s elections that resulted in the loss of the House to an anti-equality leadership, along with more anti-LGBT senators, will certainly impede – but not entirely stop – pro-LGBT federal legislative efforts. Looking at the states however, there are clear opportunities for advancing an equality agenda, including in the area of relationship recognition for same-sex couples. Of course, anti-LGBT forces will to try to turn back the clock at every opportunity, and fair-minded Americans will continue to be vigilant to preserve pro-equality laws across the country.
As the new Congress is sworn in this today, there is no denying that pro-LGBT numbers have shrunk on Capitol Hill. HRC’s new 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.
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.