In a new report released Thursday by
the Human Rights Campaign (HRC) – America's largest gay and lesbian
civil rights advocate – Congress' support for gay and lesbian
rights is considerably improved.
In the 110th Congress, the
HRC says both the House and Senate have increased their support for
gay and lesbian equality.
The report titled Congressional
Scorecard aims to measure Congress' support for gay equality.
“The lesbian, gay, bisexual and
transgender community has made unprecedented progress in Congress
over this two-year session,” Human Rights Campaign President Joe
Solmonese says in the report. “For the first time, the U.S. Senate
and U.S. House of Representatives both passed hate crimes legislation
that provide protection on the basis of sexual orientation and gender
identity (the Matthew Shepard Act).”
Solmonese also praised Congress for
moving forward on issues critical to the gay movement including the
Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA) and repeal of the military's
policy that bans gays and lesbians from serving openly (“Don't Ask,
Scores for Senators improved by 13.7 %
(from 41.7% to 55.4%) and those for Representatives in the House by 7.4%. The
number of Senators scoring 90% or higher increased from 11 to 17.
And the number of high-scoring Representatives improved from 96 to
Illinois Senator Barack Obama's score
increased from 89% to 94%, while Arizona Senator John McCain
plummeted from 33% to zero on the gay equality scorecard.
Another high-scorer at 95% was Delaware
Senator Joe Biden.