Rep. Barbara Lee Wins Top Slot Among House’s Most Pro-Gay

ProGayRep

The website ThinkProgress last week rounded-up the seven most anti-gay U.S. Representatives. This week they've followed up with a tally the most pro-equality Representatives.

California Congresswoman Barbara Lee comes in first, thanks to her co-sponsorship of 23 out of 27 pro-LGBT laws. Though D.C. Delegate Eleanor Holmes Norton also backed 23 pieces of legislation, she is a non-voting member and therefore not part of the 11.

The other ten are all Democrats: Reps. Tammy Baldwin, Keith Ellison, Bob Filner, Raul M. Grijalva, John Lewis, Carolyn Maloney, Gwen Moore, Forney "Pete" Stark, Edophus Towns and Lynn C. Woosley.

You can read the break down of who's done what over at ThinkProgress.

Comments

  1. Derrick from Philly says

    Thank you for posting this story, Andrew. And thank you so much for posting the photographs of these equal civil rights for Gays politicians.

  2. says

    Hmmm, comparing these faces with the anti-gay ones posted earlier, one notices certain differences. Toggle back to the previous one and see if any sharp eyes can notice what those could be. And who would have guessed that they’re all Democrats?! Shocker! But I’m sure as soon as those latest LCR lobbying efforts kick in, those straight white Republican males will be totally on our side!

  3. bethany says

    How can you have a list of the top pro-LGBT members of congress and NOT include Barney Frank?

  4. DCer says

    Or Jared Polis? Could he and Frank not have actually voted for the same pieces of legislation?

  5. Mike says

    This is good we need to know who is on our side and helping us get our equal and Civil Rights like gay marriage and decent jobs we can keep, etc., keep up the good works.

  6. jamal49 says

    @LITTLEKIWI Amen! And AMEN!

    And, just an asterisk to the ten Congresspersons listed, Keith Ellison is a devout, practising Muslim and one of the many rising stars of the Democratic Party.

  7. Opinionated says

    Carolyn Maloney districts has a very large growing gay population in Astoria, Queens so it is refreshing to see her name on here. Think I may need to call and thank her. Thanks for posting this!

    P.S. Also curious where Barney Frank is here??

  8. Rick says

    @Ernie In all seriousness, do you think that some Far Left political organization is not going to artificially come up with a “diverse” group that is purportedly the most in favor of equality, just as they would insist on “diversity” in any kind of group they chose to associate themselves with, regardless of what the actual empirical facts are?

    The very fact that Barney Frank, himself, is not even on the list is a dead giveaway to how totally bogus this whole exercise is, as was the absence of Michelle Bachman from the “enemies” list.

    Look, everybody gets it: the Far Left hates white males and wants to perpetuate the mythology that everybody who is not a white male is an innocent victim of those who are and is somehow “united” against the Evil White Male……and that is apparent in everything they do……which is precisely why they have no credibility with the vast majority of the population and why the gay movement being associated with them has severely damaged our efforts to make progress.

    It is why they jumped on the Trayvon Martin bandwagon before any facts were even known–in stark contrast to the vast majority of the population.

    They live in a Fantasyland that is just as removed from reality as the Fantasyland the Far Right lives in.

    Just about every gay rights victory we have had–the few that there have been–has been the consequence of initiative being taken by straight, white, males…..who also provided much, even most of the funding…..while virtually every defeat we have suffered at the ballot box has been due to the disproportionate opposition of racial minorities.

    Those are the facts, whether they fit your twisted ideology or not.

  9. Terry says

    She’s not on this list, but cheers to another great LGBT ally in the House, my congresswoman, Rep. Jan Schakowsky, D-Il. She is a superb friend of our community. And I get to see her every year at Chicago Pride. :-)

  10. Rick says

    I just hate blacks and women and fems and everyone who is openly gay! I hate it!! GAHHHHHHH!

  11. Rick says

    “It’s based upon sponsored legislation”

    Which is meaningless if you want to measure real support.

    Everybody knows that there are some members of Congress who are “party line” types, meaning that they can be depended upon to follow the leadership in just about everything and will add their names as co-sponsors to all kinds of bills the leadership favors, to be “good soldiers”.

    And that is what this list looks like–the “followers”……except perhaps for John Lewis and Carolyn Maloney, none of them is well-known or regarded as a real leader in Congress.

    I have no doubt that the people who put this list together experimented with criteria until they found one that would give them the right level of “diversity” they wanted in the people they were holding up for praise.

    The Far Left and their endless comical antics……

  12. Derrick from Philly says

    @WEBDEMON:

    Good Lord! You scared the hell out of me. I had to Google “Derrick J” and then what I saw made me even more scared.

    Believe me, I’m in Philadelphia NOT Atlanta. But Derrick J is a brave soul, I must say.

    Rick,

    Unlike what happens in public referenda on marriage equality, minority voters elect minority politicians who are in favor of civil rights for Gay Americans. These politicians’ pro-Gay views do not stop minority voters from putting them back into office over and over again.

    How many White Hetero Republican men support pro-Gay politicians? You think Southern Baptists maybe? NO.

  13. Rick says

    @Derrick See “party line” point above. Anybody who knows how Washington works knows that there is all kinds of horse-trading that is engaged in; votes for one bill “traded” for votes for another. I have no doubt that Nancy Pelosi and others in the Democratic leadership (reinforced by John Lewis, whose support for gay rights is genuine) has made it clear to the Congressional Black Caucus what is expected of them from the party leadership in exchange for having their own agenda kept front and center…..and one of those expectations is that they will support gay rights legislation.

    I seriously doubt that most of their constituents are even aware of their co-sponsorship of these bills…and in any case, what choice would they have if they did not approve of it, given that anybody they might turn to as an alternative would also be a Democrat and subject to the same pressures from the party leadership?

    The sad fact of the matter is that when racial minorities have been given an opportunity to express their real views through the anonymity of the ballot box, they have demonstrated overwhelming hostility to gay rights…..and that is simply a fact. I hope that changes and maybe seeing President Obama and others become more visible in their support will bring about such change, but until that happens, exercises like these are just exercises in dishonesty…..

  14. Chitown Kev says

    “…racial minorities have been given an opportunity to express their real views through the anonymity of the ballot box, they have demonstrated overwhelming hostility to gay rights”

    he says as if White republicans are shining angels of mercy when it comes to gay rights.

    For the most part, gay rights are not decided at the ballot box by “the people”.

    They are decided in city halls and state and federal legislatures.

    And the almost all white republican Party has expressed their views in legislatures and party platforms

  15. Rick says

    “he says as if White republicans are shining angels of mercy when it comes to gay rights”

    No, Kev, I did not say it like that. I have never pulled any punches when it comes to white homophobes, regardless of party affiliation, any more than most people here have.

    All I have done is point out that bi-partisanship is essential if we are to make real progress and that we cannot afford as a group to become prisoners to one political party.

    As African-Americans, surely you and Derrick should see the perils that ensue for a group that does allow itself to do so. That group and its agenda becomes seen as part of the agenda of the Left, which alienates much of the rest of the population……ergo the racist motives of the Tea Party.

  16. St. Theresa of Avila says

    Rick, I sometimes support your viewpoints (or at least your right to express them) but you’re just looking like a complete buffoon here. The NAACP doesn’t support gay marriage because of “horse-trading” of votes in Congress. Your ‘liberal Left’ boogeyman doesn’t hate white males but doesn’t think they should get a pass on everything just because they are white males. There’s a BIG difference. Trust me, the ‘conservative right’ hates gay males, including you no matter how butch you are or how much money you give to Republicans, way more than the liberal left hates white males.

  17. Mike says

    @Rick.
    “Anyone who understands Washington” knows they are legislators, so what they are measured by is sponsorship and votes on legislation. But don’t let that get in the way of your racist guesswork on their motivations.

  18. St. Theresa of Avila says

    But, in deference to realpolitik, I will admit there’s still a gulf between national black political leadership and the average African-American citizen. Just as a Mormon recently wrote an op-ed confessing that Mormons are not Christians, which they are not, maybe it’s time for a prominent gay writer to put forth the notion that even though we believe same-sex marriage is a civil right, we do not see our civil rights travails as equaling those of African-Americans. We were not enslaved and brought over to style hair and decorate colonial mansions (lol). I think some African Americans resent that parallels are drawn between the two.

  19. Rick says

    “we do not see our civil rights travails as equaling those of African-Americans. We were not enslaved and brought over to style hair and decorate colonial mansions (lol)”

    Right, we were just burned alive in concentration camps and burned at the stake before that.

    No comparison, right?

  20. St. Theresa of Avila says

    Rick, advise you google Godwin’s law.
    But to address your point:
    “The fate of black people from 1933 to 1945 in Nazi Germany and in German-occupied territories ranged from isolation to persecution, sterilization, medical experimentation, incarceration, brutality, and murder. However, there was no systematic program for their elimination as there was for Jews and other groups. Prior to Hitler coming to power, black entertainers were popular in Germany, but the Nazis banned Jazz as ‘corrupt negro music’.[22]”

    So, it’s not the Africans in Germany got off easy. But the bigger historical picture is that there really wasn’t such a thing as being “out” until Magnus Hirshfeld et. al, and the creation of the modern concept of homosexuality, which I would say was just a reification of previously hidden identity. You couldn’t have had a systemic campaign against gays before the 20th century because there wasn’t explicitly such a thing. Those who were gay just did things like enter the priesthood, like the son of the certain beloved American justice. So, having to live a closeted life as a priest or monk might suck, but it’s not like being captured and sold across the ocean into slavery. (although those nuns who were bricked up in cathedrals had it pretty bad, I must admit) Sure in history some were horribly mistreated for their “crimes against nature” but that’s what those were considered at the time, it’s different from an entire race being considered subhuman and enslaved. And the scale was not as vast; for all we know the Salem witches weren’t lesbian, they might just have been unconventional. As unfair as it might make a comparison seem, sexuality is something that could be hidden or contained, race was not. It doesn’t make racism or homophobia right, but it makes them different.
    Still, funny to see you suddenly start singing your grievances. Reassures me to know you have a soft side LOL.

  21. St. Theresa of Avila says

    Besides, I was only addressing perceptions anyhow. Who endured greater historical injustices seems like an argument only a liberal would be interested in, Rick, so be careful LOL! The point is it doesn’t really matter, but some African-Americans think their struggle was greater. Fine. I don’t care, I don’t take it personally. Acknowledge it for what it is and say, “we can’t change who we are, either”. The only semi-homophobic thing I’ve personally ever heard from an African-American coworker was her belief that gays have “no right” to compare what they’ve been through to what blacks have been through. My point wasn’t whether that’s a just thing or not think, my point was people do think it. Realpolitik.

  22. Karl says

    If you’re into supporting political ally, you might consider supporting Pete Stark. He is in the biggest battle of his political career. It quite likely that he will lose his seat in November. He’s always been a progressive – if not aggressive — voice for us.

  23. andrew says

    There are a lot of good people on this list, including a genuine civil rights hero John Lewis. However this list is just as bogus and meaningless as the last one.

  24. elg/edwin says

    “How did this turn into a race blog post. Well I guess I can see why.”

    Any post on towleroad that has ANYTHING to do with black people, whether that black person is anti-gay rights OR pro-gay rights, turns into a “race blog post”.

    On another note, some white gay men seem to think that NO black American, descended from black American slaves, should ever be homophobic. These white gay men apparently think that black Americans should automatically “support” them and their movement, unconditionally, and are especially outraged when that doesn’t happen.

    When a white person is homophobic it is seen as part of the human condition. It is understood by LGBT rights activists that homophobic white people are to be patiently persuaded to change the error of their homophobic thinking AND the laws that reflect that thinking.

    But black Americans, descended from black American slaves, are not allowed the same humanity as white people. Black Americans are supposed to automatically know as if by MAGIC (since they/we are descended from slaves) that homophobia is wrong. But black people, having human failings just like white people, need the same “persuasion” on gay rights issues that white people have been receiving from LGBT rights activists since the so-called Stonewall Rebellion in the late 1960s. Why can’t some people “see” that?

  25. bandanajack says

    i would have voted for john lewis. he was among the first to support, and one of the first to equate gay rigts movements to black rights movements… and bring that story back to his largely black constituency.

  26. mboaz says

    @ELG/EDWIN – Exactly!! I’ve made your point numerous times to white men and women and I’ve never been as eloquent. Kudos!

  27. Chris says

    Rick,

    – I was in Barbara Lee’s CD for 8 years, and Keith Ellison is a good friend of a good friend. Their pro-LGBT positions seem pretty damn genuine to me.

    – The horse-trading / party discipline argument is unconvincing. If a legislator is pro-LGBT and party discipline trumps their convictions, then their sympathies don’t do us much good. In fact, the whole point of exercises like this is to apply pressure, however modest, that might reverse the equation.

    – As a “far Left” type (who finds it hilarious to be equated to the liberal wing of the Democratic Party, but I digress), I’ll tell you that I like lots of straight white guys. Several of my best friends are straight white guys (/irony). But the folks at Compton’s and Stonewall, the artists and playwrights, the AIDS activists that broke things open — many of them were far Left folks. And many of them were closely linked to the Black civil rights movement. Straight, moderate white men can be great friends and allies to the movement, no doubt about that. But let’s be real about our history, here. This movement wouldn’t exist without left radicals. And those radicals learned an awful lot from Black folks. We owe both groups of activists a great debt, and so do you. Without them, you wouldn’t be able to toot your LCR horn incessantly here on TR. Credit where credit is due.

  28. Christopher says

    Wonder if they didn’t count Barney Frank because he’s retiring this cycle. Glad Gwen Moore is on the list, because she beat an openly gay candidate in the 2004 primary, to win the seat in the first place. She owes gay the community reasonable support. Edolphus Towns won’t be returning next term; he lost his primary.

  29. CHRISTOPHER ALLEN HORTON says

    I AM GLAD NONE OF THE “pro-gay” REPRESENTATIVES ARE FROM ARKANSAS, MISSISSIPPI AND TENNESSEE – MY “NECK-OF-THE-WOODS.”

    Andrew Belonsky, THIS IS A CRITICISM, SIR. IF U. S. Rep. Barbara Lee HAS DONE THE MOST FOR, “gay-rights,” WHY IS HER PHOTOGRAPH ON THE BOTTOM TIER OF YOUR CORTEGE? BY PLACING A CAUCASIAN MALE’S PHOTOGRAPH FIRST, YOU ARE IMPLYING, Mr. Belonsky, IT IS MORE IMPORTANT TO HIGHLIGHT NEGRO DISAPPROVAL OF HOMOSEXUALITY, THAN TO GIVE KUDOS TO YOUR GREATEST SUPPORTER – A NEGRO.

    CHRISTOPHER ALLEN HORTON

  30. CHRISTOPHER ALLEN HORTON says

    “ST. THERESA OF AVILA” (3 JULY; 5:01:20 PM),

    I KNOW NOTHING ABOUT NEGROES IN Nazi GERMANY. AS A NEGRO MALE, I CONSIDER Nazi GERMANY AND THE CLAIM OF SIX-MILLION-DEAD HEBREWS TO BE PROPAGANDA. NONETHELESS, “ST. THERESA OF AVILA,” YOUR COMMENTS ON Nazi-LABORATORY EXPERIMENTS ON NEGROES AND THE ABOLITION OF NEGRO JAZZ SOUND REASONABLE. I HAVE HEARD ABOUT THE LABORATORY EXPERIMENTS. YET, I DO NOT CARE ABOUT THIS ISSUE. TOO MUCH CAUCASIAN EMPHASIS – IN THE UNITED STATES – IS PLACED ON THE PLIGHT OF HEBREWS.

    CHRISTOPHER ALLEN HORTON

  31. Tom Cardellino says

    One of the saddest attributes of almost anything related to internet “free speech” is this phenomenon of people like this “Rick” moniker who haunts this website. Thankfully, “LittleKiwi” alerted me to the fact that, just like the minority of raving lunatics at the age old Speakers Corner in London’s Hyde Park, you have to just ignore the crazy persons until they get back on their medications, and be choosy about towards whom you want to expend your efforts to be constructive in your comments even when they rise to the level of well-reasoned condemnation on the spectrum of thought as opposed to well-founded congratulations. Just plain and simply, this site would be much better off if “Rick” were posted with an asterisk indicating that Jerry Falwell was more sane as well as sympathetic to his fellow humans than him.

    And, as a shout out to Andy and his tireless staff, I’ve got to say that the repeated rants by this “Rick” moniker makes it much less likely that I’ll bother to post on a site infested by mere noisemakers and time-wasters of the “Rick” ilk. Not that I always agree with the heavy-handed and self-serving editing of comments on the HuffPost, but even having been stung by it myself because of Arianna Huffington’s ongoing political aspirations, such a gatekeeper might improve the quality of the fakers who love to tease and denigrate the majority of followers of your blog. Just a suggestion, a difficult one to implement agreed, but I view your blog so very much less often than before because of this so-called “Rick” and similar imitators who delight in wasting everyone else’s time with insults, non-sequiturs, racism and homophobia. Where are those “homosexual tendencies” of your masthead when it comes to an issue like this

  32. CHRISTOPHER ALLEN HORTON says

    “ELG/EDWIN” (3 JULY; 10:50:21 PM),

    GREAT COMMENTS.

    CHRISTOPHER ALLEN HORTON