November 2, 2010 at 9:19 pm EDT | by Chris Johnson
Republicans win control of U.S. House (updated)

The Republicans swept themselves back into power in Congress on Tuesday by winning a majority of seats in the U.S. House, according to CNN projections.

Early on Wednesday, the news network projected the GOP will take control of U.S. House in the 112th Congress by winning at least 60 seats in the election — far more than the 39 seats the party needed to take control of the chamber.

House Minority Leader John Boehner (R-Ohio) will likely replace U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) in her role when Republicans come into power in the next Congress.

The Republican leader was given a score of “0” in the Human Rights Campaign’s most recent congressional scorecard for his lack of support for LGBT legislation.

Rea Carey, executive director of the National Gay & Lesbian Task Force, said the “shift in the balance of power” in Congress will likely “slow advancement of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender rights legislation.”

“Does this mean a blockade on LGBT rights?” Carey said. “Not if we can help it. Fact is, our community has always had to fight — and fight hard — for equality. This is nothing new to us.”

Carey said the Task Force will continue to push the Obama administration through its New Beginnings Initiative to make a positive change for LGBT people without action from Congress.

“While political winds and players may shift, the fundamental needs of the people do not,” Carey said. “No matter who is in office, people need jobs, protection from discrimination, a roof over their heads, a way to feed their families, a fair shake. No one should settle for less — we won’t.” 

Despite the defeat in the House, Democrats appeared to be in a position to hold onto the Senate as election results were announced.

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) pulled off a win against Republican Sharron Angle, a Tea Party candidate and former Nevada Assembly member. The Democrat had been trailing Angle in several polls.

The victory of West Virginia Gov. Joe Manchin (D) against Republican John Raese also contributed to challenge in the GOP taking control of the Senate.

Despite these wins, Democrats endured major losses in the Senate. Sen. Russ Feingold (D-Wis.), one of 14 senators to vote against the Defense of Marriage Act in1996, lost his bid for re-election against Republican Ron Johnson, a wealthy plastics manufacturer.

Joe Sestak, a Democratic U.S. House member who has been outspoken about “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” repeal, lost his bid to win a U.S. Senate seat against Republican Pat Toomey, a former U.S. House member.

In Illinois, Republican Mark Kirk, a U.S. House member, captured President Obama’s old Senate seat in a contest against Democratic candidate Alexi Giannoulious.

Kirk had supported hate crimes legislation as a U.S. House member, but earned the scorn from many LGBT people for voting against a measure that would repeal “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell.”

In Colorado, a tight race between Republican Ken Buck, who has compared homosexuality to alcoholism, and U.S. Sen. Michael Bennett (D-Colo.) was too close to call by the time of this posting.

The Blade will have a more complete report Wednesday on the implications of the election results.

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

  • Not every Republican is our enemy, not every Democrat is our friend.

    The problem with the LGBT Movement, is that we want to be fighting from the inside,

    WE ARE A MINORITY! We have no political power. We have to attack from the outside.
    More street theatre, bring back Queer nation. Get on the news!!!
    Block traffic, Scream! Jump! and throw your biggest hissy fits. It’s the only way to win. We had super majority for almost 2 years and nothing has been done to advance LGBT causes.

  • Definitely things will get alot worse now for the community with a GOP majority! Supreme Court nominees will have a harder time getting confirmed. No pro-gay legislation will get a fair up and down vote either and you like will hear crap again about a Constitutional Amendment against gay marriage.

    The sad thing is that we had alot of time to get ENDA up for a vote and passed by Congress to be signed into law by Obama. After the Hate Crimes bill was passed that should have been the priority. Instead HRC and the rest of the gay leadership tried to cram everything under the sun through at the same time rather than allow one major bill to go through and in the end we squandered our only opportunity on lifting DADT which only helps a fraction of the community. Most of us don’t work for the US Military! ENDA should have been the major priority.

    Pelosi is largely to blame also making unending excuses for not putting ENDA up for a vote. First it was healthcare has to come first, then it was that two bills, ENDA and lifting DADT couldn’t come up for a vote at the same time. These wasted and squandered opportunities we can blame on her but also on our leadership for allowing her to get away with it and pretending this unique opportunity would last forever! Pelosi kept making excuses that allowing a vote would open the bill to amendments. Will when is that ever going to be any different? If you can’t get ENDA up for a vote under a Dem majority then you have a snow ball’s chance in hell under a GOP one! Stupid idiots you blew it!

  • Let’s stop making excuses and put the blame exactly where it belongs – NObama who pledged to be our “fearless leader.” From Rick Warren to defending DOMA to appealing DADT – can it be anymore clear?

    • Obama can do shit if he doesn’t get ENDA on his desk to sign it! Obama signed the Hate Crimes bill but it had to pass Congress to get to him. Since Congress didn’t even take a vote on ENDA, squandering the opportunity on lifting DADT, what could Obama do?

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