So, yesterday I posted about The 7 Most Anti-Gay Representatives, And .... Big Surprise .... They'reAll Republican, so today, I thought, why not flip it?
That horrid 7, who sponsored or co-sponsored five or more of the ten most anti-LGBT bills introduced in Congress--along with 137 of their colleagues--are slightly outdone by the 183 Representatives who have signed on as backers of at least one of 27 pro-LGBT proposals in that same time frame.
And eleven Representatives--all of them Democrats--have signed on to at least 20 pro-LGBT proposals, and they are:
- Rep. Barbara Lee, a Democrat from California, who has sponsored or cosponsored 23 pro-LGBT bills, making her statistically the most pro-LGBT member of Congress. As an eighth-term representative from the Bay Area, Lee authored the proposed Real Education for Healthy Youth Act of 2011--an LGBT-inclusive sex education bill--and the Health Equity and Accountability Act of 2011, which improves tracking of health data for LGBT people and other minority groups. She is listed as a co-sponsor on 21 other proposals including measures to ban employment discrimination, to stop bullying in schools, and to repeal the Defense of Marriage Act. She is also a founding member of the Congressional LGBT Equality Caucus, of which she is currently a vice chair.
- a seventh-term Congresswoman currently seeking the open U.S. Senate seat in her state. The first openly-lesbian woman to serve in Congress, Baldwin is a co-chair of the Congressional LGBT Equality Caucus and author of the Domestic Partnership Benefits and Obligations Act of 2011, a proposal to provide employment benefits to the domestic partners of federal employees.
- a third-term Congressman and a co-chair of the Congressional Progressive Caucus. On the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, and Transgender Rights page on his House website, Ellison notes that he is “proud to be vice-chair of the Congressional Lesbian Gay Bisexual Transgender Caucus.”
- tenth-term Congressman who recently proposed that the U.S. Navy should name a ship for the late Harvey Milk.
- a fifth-term Congressman and a co-chair of the Congressional Progressive Caucus. He is also vice chair of the Congressional LGBT Equality Caucus and praised a federal court ruling that there is no rational basis for banning same-sex unions, saying “I’m glad to see the importance of equal civil rights for all Americans reaffirmed by this ruling.”
- a thirteenth-term Congressman, chaired the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee during the civil rights movement in the 1960s. On the LGBT Rights page on his House website, he says “I fought too long and too hard to end discrimination based on race and color, to not stand up against discrimination against our gay and lesbian brothers and sisters.”
- a tenth-term Congresswoman, authored the Family and Medical Leave Inclusion Act, a proposal to provide same-sex couples with equal access to unpaid leave. The LGBT section on her Congressional website notes that back in 1986, she introduced the first domestic partnership legislation in New York State history, as a New York City Councilwoman.
- fourth-term Congresswoman, authored the LGBT-inclusive Violence Against Women Reauthorization Act of 2012. Her 2012 Pride Month statement highlighted her strong support for “equal rights for all people, regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity.”
- twentieth-term Congressman, is the author of the Every Child Deserves a Family Act, a proposal to ban discrimination against LGBT families in adoption and foster parenting. Upon received an award for outstanding service to the LGBT community, he said, “Significant strides have been made recently regarding LGBT rights, including the repeal of Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell and the Obama Administration’s refusal to defend the constitutionality of the Defense of Marriage Act. Yet there is much more work to be done at the federal, state and local levels.”
- a fifteenth-term Congressman who will retire at the end of 2012, posted his own 'It Gets Better' video on his House website. His Pride month proclamation notes: “The powerful movement for equal rights on behalf of the LGBT community has changed the course of our nation. LGBT Americans have done so much to advance the fundamental principles upon which our country was built – that all people are created equal and deserve equal rights and opportunities.
- a tenth-term Congresswoman, authored the Domestic Violence Leave Act and Balancing Act of 2011, two proposals which included provisions providing emergency leave for same-sex domestic partners. The Civil Rights page on her House website notes “As a founding member of the Congressional Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender (LGBT) Equality Caucus, I strongly support equal protection under the law for all people, regardless of race, religion, national origin, gender, or sexual orientation.”
Two others deserve note:
Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr., a Democrat from Illinois, currently on a leave of absence from Congress, also signed onto 20 pro-LGBT bills and resolutions.
Florida Republican Congresswoman, Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, has co-sponsored six pro-LGBT proposals, making her the most pro-equality Republican in the House. She is the only GOP backer of the Respect for Marriage Act, which would repeal the Defense of Marriage Act.
Only five other Republicans have backed at least one pro-LGBT bill.