HRC Releases Marriage-Equality Positions of Congress

Posted by Justin Snow
August 2, 2012 4:31 PM |

Wondering where your member of Congress stands on marriage equality? It just got a lot easier to find out.

The Human Rights Campaign today announced a new database that lays out the views of nearly every member of Congress on marriage equality and other LGBT issues.

Thumbnail image for HRC Logo.JPGAccessible through HRC's website, the database allows users to search by zip code to determine how their representatives in the House and Senate score percentage-wise on marriage equality and why. The scores are determined by statements members of Congress have made in the past, an HRC survey question and whether they have supported LGBT-friendly legislation.

According to HRC, 181 members of Congress, or 34 percent, support marriage equality, while 234, about 44 percent, have made statements against. The positions of 122 members, about 23 percent, are unclear or unknown. 

In a statement, HRC President Chad Griffin said voters who support marriage equality "rightfully want to know whether their elected officials share that fair-minded view."

"Many Members of Congress are commendably with the public, but Congress is always a lagging indicator. It's time for more of our leaders to get on the right side of history," Griffin said.

HRC surveyors asked members of Congress whether or not they agreed with the following statement: "Gay and lesbian couples should not be denied the ability to pledge their love and commitment through the civil institution of marriage. I believe that two committed adults of the same sex should be able to receive a government-issued marriage license, while religious institutions retain their right to determine which marriages they will perform."

Congressmembers’ explicit yes or no responses are posted on the website.

Although the database provides a nearly comprehensive resource for voters, the results were not altogether surprising.

Support for marriage equality was strongest in the Eastern part of the country with 58 percent in favor, and only 15 percent in favor in the South. Support among Democrats stands at 72 percent in favor with 9 percent opposed and 19 percent unknown.

Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen of Florida is the only Republican on Capitol Hill to publicly support marriage equality.

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