Monday, June 09, 2014

Republicans Aren't The Only Anti-Gay Members Of Congress


According to ProgressivePunch, 39 congressmembers have perfect lifetime scores on all votes regarding LGBT rights. All 39 are Democrats and almost all of them are across-the-board progressive Democrats like Keith Ellison (MN), Jim McGovern (MA), Mike Honda (CA), John Lewis (GA), Judy Chu (CA), Donna Edwards (MD), Jan Schakowsky (IL), Jerry Nadler (NY), Maxine Waters (CA), Jim McDermott (WA), Barbara Lee (CA), and Chellie Pingree (ME). On the other end of the spectrum, there are 92 Republicans with perfect zero scores. Not one has ever voted for anything to further equality for gay men and women. And these aren't just the frothing homophobes and bigots like Michele Bachmann (MN), Steve King (IA), Trey Gowdy (SC), Virginia Foxx (NC), closet case Trent Franks (AZ), Marsha Blackburn (TN) and Joe Wilson (SC). This includes Republican leaders John Boehner (OH) and Eric Cantor (VA) and self-proclaimed "moderates" like Mike McCaul (TX), Tom Reed (NY), Jack Kingston (GA), and closet case Dana Rohrabacher (CA).

But what about the Members between those with 100% and those with 0%? Some have been great allies, like Peter Welch (95.83%), John Conyers (96.43) and Mike Capuano (96.43) and some have been nearly as bad as the zeros, like Louie Gohmert (TX-3.85), Paul Ryan (WI-4.0), Peter King (NY-7.14), Scott Garrett (NJ-3.57), closet case Aaron Schock (IL-10.0), Darrell Issa (CA-7.14), John Culberson (TX-4.35) and John Kline (MN-3.57). But at what point are you able to say someone's voting record is clearly homophobic? Particularly Democrats? Are there Democrats with anti-LGBT records? Of course there are.

On April 29, 2009, the House passed the Hate Crimes Prevention Act, 249-175, 18 Republican abandoning their hate-filled and bigoted leaders, crossing the aisle and voting with the Democrats. Boehner, Cantor, Ryan and McCarthy were against the bill and they had support from 17 of the most racist and conservative Democrats in the House:
Dan Boren (Blue Dog-OK,) forced to retire
Bobby Bright (Blue Dog-AL), defeated with the help of Blue America
Chris Carney (Blue Dog-PA), defeated with the help of Blue America
Travis Childers (Blue Dog-MS), defeated
Artur Davis (New Dem-AL), defeated, now officially a Republican
Lincoln Davis (Blue Dog-TN), defeated
Joe Donnelly (Blue Dog-IN), pushed into the Senate in a quirk
Brad Ellsworth (Blue Dog-IN), defeated
Bart Gordon (Blue Dog-TN), forced to retire; now a slimy lobbyist
Parker Griffith (Blue Dog-AL), switched to the GOP before being defeated at the polls
Mike McIntyre (Blue Dog/New Dem-NC), forced to retire this year
Charlie Melancon (Blue Dog-LA), defeated
Collin Peterson (Blue Dog-MN), still in Congress
Mike Ross (Blue Dog-AR), forced to retire; now running for governor
Heath Shuler (Blue Dog-NC), forced to retire
John Tanner (Blue Dog-TN), forced to retire
Gene Taylor (Blue Dog-MS), defeated
So which 3 Democrats still in the House and running for reelection have been the most unsympathetic to the legitimate aspirations of the LGBT community?
John Barrow (Blue Dog-GA)
Dan Lipinksi (Blue Dog-IL)
Collin Peterson (Blue Dog-MN)
All three are worse on gay issues than a significant number of Republicans. Lipinski is in a solidly blue Chicago district with a PVI of D+5 which Obama won with 58% in 2008 and with 56% in 2012. Peterson and Barrow are in redder districts that Obama lost both times. The Democratic Party is pumping huge sums of money into both those races to save two of their most disliked incumbents. They've reserved $490,000 in the Augusta market and $670,000 in the Savannah market to defend homophobic John Barrow and they've reserved $1.5 million in broadcast time in the Minneapolis-St. Paul market between Oct. 14 to Nov. 4 to defend Peterson. That's how the Democratic Party spends the money donors send in, many of them thinking-- as they are meant to-- that their contributions are going to defend LGBT equality.

Yesterday, in fact, Debbie Wasserman Schultz's disingenuous DNC sent out a scary letter warning gay people the Republicans are out to get them. That part is true. The part that isn't is that the Democratic Party will use the money you give them to combat anti-gay Republicans. They're just as likely to use it to bolster anti-gay Democrats who vote with the anti-gay Republicans-- like Barrow and Peterson. This was in the letter the DNC sent out yesterday, trolling for e-mail addresses they can use for fundraising:

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