October 22, 2010 at 4:53 pm EDT | by Chris Johnson
HRC issues scorecard for 111th Congress

The Human Rights Campaign on Friday issued its scorecard for the 111th Congress detailing the level of support that lawmakers have for pro-LGBT legislation.

On a scale of 0 to 100, U.S. House members and U.S senators are scored for their support for pro-gay bills in Congress, such the vote on hate crimes protection legislation or co-sponsorship of bills such as the Uniting American Families Act.

“While advancements for equality were made this Congress, a strong and devoted group of anti-LGBT legislators continues to stymie the progress LGBT people deserve,” said HRC President Joe Solmonese. “The fact that the first ever vote to repeal ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’ in the House of Representatives was countered by a filibuster in the Senate illustrates the landscape.”

Paul Guequierre, an HRC spokesperson, said the scorecard is not yet final and his organization will publish a complete version after the lame duck session of Congress. LGBT rights supporters are hoping for another vote in the Senate on “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” repeal legislation by the year’s end.

Scores for individual House members and senators can be viewed at www.hrc.org/scorecard.

The scorecard has a number of notable ranking for U.S. House members and U.S. senators:

* Gay Reps. Tammy Baldwin (D-Wis.) and Jared Polis (D-Colo.) each received scores of 100. But Rep. Barney Frank (D-Mass.), another gay lawmaker, received a score of 96. He lost points for not co-sponsoring legislation that would overturn the Defense of Marriage Act.

* U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) received a score of 100, although she’s not a co-sponsor of many pro-LGBT bills. As speaker, Pelosi often doesn’t co-sponsor legislation even if she doesn’t support it.

* House Minority Leader John Boehner (R-Ohio) received a score of 0. He’s likely to become speaker if — as pundits across the board predict — Republicans take control of the House on Election Day.

* Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) received a score of 100 even though he isn’t a co-sponsor of many pro-LGBT bills. Like the speaker, his position as majority leader means he often doesn’t co-sponsor legislation even if he supports it.

By contrast, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell received a score of 0.

* Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) received a score of 0. He railed against the inclusion of a hate crimes protection measure in major defense budget legislation last year and successfully lead a filibuster of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” repeal legislation in September.

* The Republican senators from Maine known to be moderates received high scores, but neither obtained a perfect rating.

Sen. Susan Collins (R-Maine) received a score of 81. She lost points for voting to block legislation containing “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” from coming to the Senate floor and for not co-sponsoring UAFA.

Similarly, Sen. Olympia Snowe (R-Maine) received a score of 77. She lost points for also voting against bringing a bill containing “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” repeal to the Senate floor and for not co-sponsoring UAFA. She also doesn’t co-sponsor legislation that would eliminate the tax paid on employer-provided health coverage for domestic partners.

Chris Johnson is Chief Political & White House Reporter for the Washington Blade. Johnson attends the daily White House press briefings and is a member of the White House Correspondents' Association. Follow Chris

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