Republicans get poor marks on LGBTQ support in HRC scorecard

Pride flag
With the U.S. Capitol in the background, a person waves a rainbow flag as they participant in a rally in support of the LGBTQIA+ community at Freedom Plaza, Saturday, June 12, 2021, in Washington. The U.S. House overwhelmingly approved legislation Tuesday, July, 19, 2022, to protect same-sex and interracial marriages amid concerns that the Supreme Court ruling overturning Roe v. Wade abortion access could jeopardize other rights criticized by many conservative Americans. (AP Photo/Jose Luis Magana, File)

Nearly 150 GOP members of Congress earned a zero score on the Human Rights Campaign’s (HRC) congressional scorecard, which measures support for equality through a tally of lawmaker votes on legislation affecting the LGBTQ community.

Support for LGBTQ issues sank to new lows among Republicans in Congress this session, with 136 GOP House members and 12 GOP senators receiving negative scores.

No Democrat in either chamber received a score of zero.

Opposition from scores of Republicans to the Respect for Marriage Act codifying a Supreme Court decision legalizing same-sex marriage was a major reason for the poor scores.

The legislation passed the House with about four dozen GOP votes, but has stalled in the Senate. Supporters hope to move it after the November midterms. A majority of Republicans opposed the Democratic-led bill.

The Republicans receiving “zero” scores included House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (Calif.), who has pledged to introduce legislation to bar transgender athletes from competing in women’s sports if Republicans win the House majority next month.

By comparison, 167 representatives, all Democrats, earned a perfect 100 score.

House members on average earned a score of 53.5, according to the HRC report card, but Republicans averaged a score of just 5.7. The average score among Democratic representatives was 98.5.

In a statement on Friday, HRC interim President Joni Madison said the group’s scorecard was an important resource for voters in determining which members of Congress can “be relied upon” to support LGBTQ Americans ahead of the midterm elections next month.

“This term, LGBTQ+ rights have been under attack in state legislatures like never before,” she said, “and new questions have arisen over whether the Supreme Court can be relied on to follow its own precedents in favor of LGBTQ+ equality.”

Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas in June suggested in an opinion over the summer that the court should revisit several landmark cases including Obergefell v. Hodges, which legalized same-sex marriage nationwide. Several prominent GOP senators have said the case was wrongly decided when it went before the Supreme Court in 2015.

In the Senate, 26 Democrats and Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) earned perfect marks on the HRC scorecared.

Similar to the House, senators over the past two years averaged a score of 53.4. The average among Senate Democrats was slightly lower than that of Democrats in the lower chamber, at 96.8, while Republicans averaged a score of 10.1.

Tags Kevin McCarthy LGBTQ rights Respect for Marriage Act Supreme Court

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