We’re days away from one of the most important Election Days in recent memory: Not only could we see a rollback on all the advances the Obama Administration has made, but the Democrats could lose the one house of Congress they’ve managed to hold onto.
To help us see what kind of playing field we’re looking at, HRC has released a Congressional Scorecard for the 112th Congress—and the news ain’t so great.
Politicians with anti-gay values are making headway in the 112th Congress, as the average score for members of the Senate dipped to 35%, compared to 57.3% tin 2010 In the House of Representatives, that number dropped to 40%, from 50.8% two years ago—thanks to GOP gains in the interim elections. (The number of Representatives that scored a big fat zero rose from 144 to 219 in the same time frame.)
The scores were tabulated by examining the members voting record on hate-crimes legislation, ENDA, the Respect for Marriage Act and other LGBT-related bills.
Ironically only 33% of Congresspeople support marriage equality, while a full 54% of the general public believe gay people should have the legal right to wed. What’s worse, 79% of Americans believe LGBT people should have workplace protections, but only 40% of the lawmakers on Capitol Hill do. “While the American people move forward on these issues, the majority of Congress, particularly the House, continues to be out of touch,” said HRC legislative director Allison Herwitt.
Still, it’s not all bad news: 115 House members scored 100% from HRC, including 33 from marriage-equality states and eight from states facing gay-marriage initiatives in November. Meanwhile, 22 senators scored 100%, including seven from states with marriage equality and five from states that are taking it to a vote.
Among those who nabbed perfect scores are Sen. Barbara Boxer (D-CA), Sen. Jeff Merkley (D-OR) and Rep. Adam Smith, the top-ranking member of the House Armed Services Committee, who introduced legislation extending benefits to same-sex spouses of servicemembers.
The politicians who got a goose egg include House Majority Leader Rep. Eric Canter (R-VA), Republican VP nominee Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI) and—shocker—chief DOMA defender Rep. John Boehner (R-OH).