The Human Rights Campaign (HRC) 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.
“LGBTQ nondiscrimination protections gained important bipartisan support in the 114th Congress. Unfortunately, despite those gains, the 114th Congress failed to advance any pro-equality legislation and remains an impediment to progress for the LGBTQ community,” said HRC President Chad Griffin. “Today, a majority of Americans — Republicans, Democrats and independents — all believe that LGBTQ people should be able to live their lives free from fear of discrimination and be protected from discrimination. It’s long past time that Congress reflects the opinion of the majority of fair-minded Americans.”
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 important 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 62 Republicans voted at different times 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.
- 190 Members of Congress earned perfect scores (188 Democrats, 2 Republicans).
- The average score for Representatives was 53.
- Average score for Democratic Representatives is 96.
- Average score for Republican Representatives is 10.
- The average score for Senators was 54.
- Average score for Democratic Senators is 98.
- Average score for Republican Senators is 20.
- The Northeast and West continue to elect Members of Congress with strong support of LGBTQ issues; the average score for Representatives and Senators from the Northeast was 73 and 93 respectively; in the West it was 64 and 57 respectively.
- Republican Senators from the Northeast have the highest average, 60, of Republican members from any region.
The HRC Scorecard for the 114th Congress is available online at www.hrc.org/scorecard