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A New Day Dawns In Congress, Though Not Bright Enough

CongressnewdayWith the new Congress settling in, Jeremy Peters of the New York Times today discusses how gay and lesbian lawmakers are slowly emerging from the shadows, an illustration of society's own evolution. But things are far from perfect.

Congress has never been an accurate reflection of the country it serves. It remains far whiter, wealthier and more male than the nation’s population. But as their numbers in Congress gradually increase, there is a sense among these newcomers that they are forcing some of their colleagues to rethink gay rights and homosexuality.

The presence of openly gay men and women and their families was a factor that many believe was decisive in turning the tide for states where same-sex marriage was legalized by legislatures. Seeing them helped put a human face on a concept that many legislators had thought about only in the abstract.

Yet even with the opportunities gay men, lesbians and bisexuals say their membership in Congress presents, their reception has not been a completely warm one. One of the first acts of the Republican-controlled House was to set aside funds to defend the 1996 law that prohibits the recognition of same-sex marriages because the Obama administration has stopped supporting it. And not everyone seems completely comfortable with their presence, like members of a Christian prayer group who seemed taken aback at a recent Congressional retreat when one noted he was married to a man. But in some ways the most telling sign of the gay lawmakers' advancement in Congress is the fact that their presence is now a little more routine.

The fact of the matter, though, is that gay and lesbian lawmakers are still a little over 1 percent of Congress, and the bulk of the GOP-controlled House remain obstinate on equality. Only 184 members have come out for LGBT rights, according to HRC; 220, a majority, are opposed.

Openly Gay, and Openly Welcomed in Congress [nyt]

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  1. "And not everyone seems completely comfortable with their presence, like members of a Christian prayer group who seemed taken aback at a recent Congressional retreat when one noted he was married to a man. "

    I love it! Let's hope that they make more Christians and homophobes uncomfortable. It's the way to progress.

    Posted by: Randy | Jan 26, 2013 11:53:03 AM


  2. Proximity to gay people has always been one of the main ways that attitudes have changed. Having neighbors or co-workers who are gay has made a huge difference. Let's hope that same dynamic will change the attitudes on the Hill. Will it happen overnight? Nope. But it's a process that has, at least, been started.

    Posted by: gr8guyca | Jan 26, 2013 1:30:32 PM


  3. uptil I looked at the paycheck saying $9723, I did not believe that...my... mom in-law was like they say truly erning money part time on there computar.. there uncles cousin has done this 4 less than ten months and recently paid for the depts on there appartment and bourt a top of the range audi. I went here..... BIT40.ℂOℳ

    Posted by: bethenasamorodnitsky | Jan 26, 2013 10:15:35 PM


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