Written by Josh Israel, Adam Peck
In recent days, ThinkProgress has identified the most pro- and anti-LGBT members of the U.S. House of Representatives. While in this Congress anti-gay forces have been relatively quiet in the Senate — only Sen. Jim Inhofe (R-OK) has proposed an overtly anti-LGBT bill or resolution — Senators in support of equality have proposed sixteen bills pro-LGBT bills since the start of 2011. Eleven Senators have sponsored or co-sponsored at least ten of those measures.
Senators Daniel Akaka (D-HI), John Kerry (D-MA), and Patty Murray (D-WA), tied for the honor of most pro-LGBT Senator: they put their names on 13 of the 16 bills each. Akaka, a fourth-term Senator who will retire at the end of 2012, authored the Health Equity and Accountability Act of 2012 (a bill to improve tracking of health data for LGBT people and other minority groups). Murray, a fourth-term Senator, spells out on her LGBT issue webpage that “Equal protection under the law is a fundamental right in our country. No one should suffer discrimination because of their race, color, religion, national origin, age, sex, sexual orientation, or gender identity.” And Kerry, now in his fifth term in the Senate, is chief sponsor of the Reconnecting Youth to Prevent Homelessness Act of 2011 (which seeks to help at-risk LGBT youth) and the HOME Act of 2011 (which protects LGBT citizens from housing discrimination).
Eight other Senators — seven Democrats and one independent — signed on to at least 10 pro-LGBT proposals, putting them just behind Akaka, Kerry, and Murray. They are:
In all, 61 Senators have signed onto at least one pro-LGBT bill — every member of the Democratic caucus and eight Republicans. Senators Susan Collins (R-ME) and Mark Kirk (R-IL) were the most pro-equality Republicans, co-sponsoring three bills each.
The pro-LGBT proposals were:
This post was originally published by ThinkProgress.
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