In conjunction with HRC’s Congressional Scorecard, HRC released a list of several Senators and Representatives who have particularly anti-LGBTQ records. These Senators and Representatives not only voted for anti-LGBTQ legislation, they’ve introduced harmful bills and amendments, made extreme anti-LGBTQ statements and received a low score on HRC’s Congressional Scorecard.
Rep. Louie Gohmert (R-TX)
Rep. Louie Gohmert (R-TX) earned a zero on the Congressional Scorecard. When Gohmert opens his mouth, you never know what will come out of it, except that it will be mean, derogatory, or just plain nuts. In April, Gohmert described PayPal’s decision not to invest in North Carolina because of their anti-transgender law “the height of lunacy.” In another bizarre attack on LGBTQ rights, Gohmert said that NASA would never choose to send same-sex couples into space. Rather, Gohmert said, it’s up to NASA to be a “modern-day Noah” and “perpetuate humanity and the wildlife kingdom.” Gohmert also called for the impeachment of the U.S. Supreme Court because of the Obergefell decision last June, which legalized same-sex marriage throughout the country.
Rep. Steve King (R-IA)
Rep. Steve King (R-IA) earned a zero on the Congressional Scorecard. King has been a ring-leader for anti-LGBTQ causes for his entire career in Congress. He’s spent the last decade fighting marriage equality and notoriously compared marriage equality to marrying a lawnmower. In May, King described the Department of Education’s recent Title IX guidance on transgender students as an “egregious example” of regulatory overreach, setting the tone for the hearing. In June, King proposed a vehemently anti-transgender measure that would prohibit transgender people from using the restroom that corresponds with their gender identity in the U.S. Capitol.
Rep. Steve Russell (R-OK)
Rep. Steve Russell (R-OK) earned a zero on the Congressional Scorecard. In the dark of night during a committee vote at 2am, Russell offered an amendment to the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) that would allow, under the guise of religious liberty, sweeping anti-LGBT discrimination in all federal agencies. The provision jeopardizes President Obama’s executive order prohibiting LGBTQ discrimination in federal contracting, and could have far-reaching consequences, potentially even undermining existing federal nondiscrimination provisions. The White House has already indicated its strong opposition to the Russell Amendment.
Rep. Robert Pittenger (R-NC)
Rep. Robert Pittenger (R-NC) earned a zero on the Congressional Scorecard. Pittenger has a knack for inserting his foot squarely in his mouth. Just a couple of weeks ago, Pittenger spoke about protests in Charlotte, saying “they hate white people because white people are successful and they’re not.” Earlier this year, he offered an amendment to an appropriations bill to prohibit funds from being taken away from any entity in North Carolina for any reason including fraud, failure to carry out the terms of a contract, or if used in violation of the law–all to stop the federal government from using federal law to end HB-2 discrimination.
Rep. Bradley Byrne (R-AL)
Rep. Bradley Byrne (R-AL) earned a zero on the Congressional Scorecard. In only his second term, Byrne is making a name for himself opposing LGBTQ equality. He offered an amendment to the FY 2017 Energy and Water Development and Related Agencies Appropriations Act (H.R. 5055) to require federal agencies to allow religiously affiliated contractors to discriminate in hiring with taxpayer funds.
Rep. Scott Garrett (R-NJ)
Rep. Scott Garrett (R-NJ) has earned a zero on the Congressional Scorecard, one of only two Members of Congress from New Jersey to do so—Democrat or Republican. Last year, we learned that Garrett’s poor lifetime voting record on LGBTQ issues is no aberration, but rather reflects his anti-LGBTQ convictions. He refused to make his required contribution to the National Republican Congressional Committee because they were recruiting and supporting gay Republicans.
Raúl Labrador (R-ID)
Rep. Raúl Labrador (R-ID) earned a zero on the Congressional Scorecard. A founder of the House Freedom Caucus, Labrador is the sponsor of one of the most dangerous anti-LGBTQ pieces of legislation in Congress—the First Amendment Defense Act (FADA). FADA would sanction unprecedented taxpayer-funded discrimination against LGBTQ people. Lacking any semblance of tact, the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform held a hearing on FADA on the one-month anniversary of the tragedy in Orlando.
Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX)
Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) has earned a zero on the Congressional Scorecard. Cruz made anti-LGBTQ invective a hallmark of his failed presidential campaign. There are too many examples for us to list. By the end of his campaign, Cruz was making anti-transgender comments at practically every campaign stop, even releasing an ad attacking transgender people using the restroom in line with their gender identity, calling it “PC nonsense that is destroying America.”
Mike Lee (R-UT)
Sen. Mike Lee (R-UT) earned a zero on the Congressional Scorecard. Lee is the Senate sponsor of the anti-LGBTQ First Amendment Defense Act. In an interview about the bill with NPR last year, Lee claimed that LGBTQ people are not “subject to widespread discrimination.” Lee is also a cosponsor of legislation that would allow child welfare organizations, including adoption and foster care providers, to make placement determinations based on the organization’s “religious beliefs or moral convictions” regardless of the needs of the child.
Sen. James Lankford (R-OK)
Sen. James Lankford (R-OK) earned a zero on the Congressional Scorecard. Lankford, who in 2012 said being gay was a choice, has made it his mission to attack the Departments of Education and Justice for issuing guidance supporting transgender students, calling it “threatening and intimidating.” He also said the guidance had “major implications for safety” and that it would “make the majority of American families unwelcome in their own school.”
Dishonorable Mention: Rep. Daniel Lipinski (D-IL)
Rep. Daniel Lipinski (D-IL) with a 56 on the Congressional Scorecard has the dubious distinction of being the worst scoring Democratic in the House and Senate. The average score for Democratic Representatives is 96.