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112thCongressionalScorecard_2012

112thCongressionalScorecard_2012

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Published by: jsnow489 on Oct 18, 2012
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01/24/2013

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SCORECARD
CONGRESSIONAL
MEASURING SUPPORT FOR EQUALITY IN THE 112TH CONGRESS
 
2HRC CONGRESSIONAL SCORECARD www.hrc.org/scorecardDear Friends, I’m pleased to bring you the Human Rights Campaign’s Scorecard for the 112th Congress which showscontinuous progress being made for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender Americans, while at the same timehow our community has had to face uphill battles due to an anti-LGBT House leadership. With allies in the U.S. Senate, the Judiciary Committee held a hearing on the Respect for Marriage Act (RMA)— which would repeal the outrageously named Defense of Marriage Act, or DOMA. The legislation was passedout of committee for the first time ever, thanks to the leadership of Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) and the bill’slead sponsor, Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.). There was also a successful hearing and markup of the DomesticPartnership Benefits and Obligations Act (DPBO) — led by Sens. Joe Lieberman (I-Conn.) and Susan Collins(R-Maine) — the bill to bring the federal government in line with a majority of major U.S. employers in offeringhealth benefits to the domestic partners of federal workers. Historically, the Senate confirmed three openlygay federal judges—breaking down a barrier that was only pierced once before in our nation’s history. And theinclusive Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA) got a Senate Committee hearing where, for the first time, atransgender witness testified in its favor, thanks to Chairman Tom Harkin (D-Iowa).In contrast, in the House, anti-equality members and leaders moved forward with attacks on our families and even lesbian and gay service members.Amendments were offered to spending bills that would reaffirm DOMA and restrict money for “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” training materials for militarychaplains. Thankfully, none of these measures became law. House Republican leaders have also continued their full-throated defense of DOMA incourt, wasting hundreds of thousands of taxpayer dollars on a discriminatory law.While the House leadership has been an obstacle, that did not stop us from continuing the important work of educating members, reaching newallies and building support for our critical bills. In both the House and Senate, we are scoring members on their co-sponsorship of ENDA, RMA,DPBO as well as the Tax Parity for Health Plan Beneficiaries Act which would end the unfair taxation of domestic partnership health benefits and the
 
3112TH CONGRESSUniting American Families Act which would treat binational same-sex couples the same as those who are recognized as legally married. Much of oursuccess is due to leaders like Sens. Harry Reid (D-Nev.) and Susan Collins (R-Maine) and Reps. Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.), Steny Hoyer (D-Md.) andIleana Ros-Lehtinen (R-Fla.). Central to all of these efforts have been our four openly gay members, Reps. Barney Frank (D-Mass.), Tammy Baldwin(D-Wis.), Jared Polis (D-Colo.) and David Cicilline (D-R.I.).But we know fair-minded Americans care about more than just co-sponsorships and votes on bills, which is why for the first time in this scorecardwe are noting whether or not members of Congress have taken an affirmative position in favor of marriage equality. While marriage-related issuescan arise in Congress, the baseline question about where a senator or representative stands on this issue is of great importance to all of us, andnotably Rep. Ros-Lehtinen became the first currently serving Republican member of Congress to express her support.Of course, there remains much work to do. With bullying of LGBT students a national problem, the federal government has a key role to play and wemust continue to build support for the Student Non-Discrimination Act (SNDA) and the Safe Schools Improvement Act (SSIA). We need to pass afully inclusive ENDA, repeal DOMA, expand funding and treatment for HIV/AIDS and ensure that our families are equal under law.With this resource, you can see where your own elected officials stand and whether they are moving this country forward or holding us back. With thatknowledge, we can move toward a future where the dark walls of discrimination fall and every American is guaranteed their full and equal citizenship.Sincerely,Chad GriffinPresidentHuman Rights Campaign

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