Act on Principles looked at who was sponsoring nine pieces of pro-LGBT legislation in the current Congress. Specifically, AOP wanted to see how much support the bills were getting from the Congressional LGBT Equality Caucus. It’s not such a great record:
In order to achieve full federal equality, we need an important institution such as the Congressional LGBT Equality Caucus to actually be efficient and turnkey in our efforts to demonstrate and increase the support for all pieces of LGBT friendly legislation. I am hopeful that the Equality Caucus leadership either: 1. Encourages all of its members to support and cosponsor ALL LGBT-friendly legislation introduced by its membership and other allies in Congress or 2. Explains to the larger LGBT community why the Equality Caucus isn’t supporting specific pieces of legislation.
According to their website (http://lgbt.tammybaldwin.house.gov/): “The Congressional LGBT Equality Caucus was established in the U.S. House of Representatives in June 2008 by Co-Chairs Tammy Baldwin (D-WI) and Barney Frank (D-MA), along with Members of Congress who are strongly committed to achieving the full enjoyment of human rights for LGBT people in the U.S. and around the world.”
The Caucus is now co-chaired by four openly gay members of Congress: Tammy Baldwin (D-WI), Barney Frank (D-MA), Jared Polis (D-CO), and David Cicilline (D-RI). In addition to the Co-Chairs, the membership is comprised of 19 Vice-Chairs and 73 Members, which totals to 96 members (Current website doesn’t reflect the resignation of Jane Harman (D-CA).
It is commonly understood amongst LGBT advocacy organizations and activists, that with the recent loss of Democrats in the House of Representatives during the 2012 election, the 112th Congress might be a challenging field to secure passage of any LGBT legislation. Given the current political environment, one would expect that the Equality Caucus formed with the mission to achieve equal rights for LGBT people would immediately and unequivocally support ALL pieces of LGBT friendly legislation introduced in this Congress.
However that isn’t what is happening. Act on Principles is giving the following grades to the Equality Caucus based on its percentage support of LGBT friendly legislation introduced in the House of Representatives. Currently, there are nine pieces of legislation in the House that impact LGBT equality.
Shockingly, the Equality Caucus receives a mediocre report card consisting of one A, three B’s and five F’s.
Before going into too much details on each of the bills, the three members of the Congressional LGBT Equality Caucus that are supporting ALL NINE pieces of LGBT legislation introduced should be commended.
Check out the rankings.
Now, some (mostly people on the Hill and some advocacy groups) will say that this isn’t fair. They’ll complain that we can’t expect members of the LGBT caucus to support all LGBT legislation, or something like that. You know some of the groups will give cover to members of Congress.
But, if the Congressional LGBT Equality Caucus won’t support pro-LGBT legislation, who will? And, you know how one of the caucus founders (that would be Barney Frank) is always saying that we need to be more like the NRA? Well, I don’t think the NRA leadership or the group’s membership would take too kindly to hearing excuses from any member of the Congressional Second Amendment Caucus who wasn’t supporting pro-gun laws. Wouldn’t happen. When it comes to their gun rights, you’re either with them or you’re not. Our rights shouldn’t matter less. And, the members of the Congressional LGBT Equality Caucus should be supporting pro-LGBT equality.