The beginning of a new month marks a good time to look back at the old. And so, with an update of our LGBT Equality Caucus Report, let’s consider what members of one of the largest caucuses on Capitol Hill were up to in January of 2010.
In the month of January, 3 new bills were added to the LGBT Equality Caucus slate, bringing the total number of bills on the slate to 19. These three newly added bills are:
H.R. 3827, the Every Child Deserves a Family Act, introduced to the House by caucus member Pete Stark in October 2009. If passed, Stark’s bill would prohibit organizations receiving federal funding from impeding adoptions or foster child placements on the basis of the sexual orientation of an adoptive or foster parent. Before addition to the caucus slate, 11 caucus out of the 82 LGBT Equality Caucus members had already signed on in support the legislation (with 3 non-caucus members also cosponsoring the bill). In the month of January, caucus member Joe Sestak added his cosponsorship.
H.R. 4376, the Freedom from Discrimination in Credit Act, introduced to the House by caucus member Steve Israel in December 2009. H.R. 4376 is a bill to outlaw discrimination in extension of credit to people on the basis of their sexual orientation. By the end of December, 36 out of the 82 LGBT Equality Caucus members had already signed on in support of the bill (with 10 non-caucus members cosponsoring as well). In the month of January, caucus members Nita Lowey and Joe Sestak added their cosponsorships to the measure.
H.R. 4530, the Student Nondiscrimination Act of 2010, introduced to the House by caucus member Jared Polis near the end of January 2010. Polis’ bill is dedicated to the goal of ending discrimination based on actual or perceived sexual orientation or gender identity in public schools, and acts to prohibit conduct in the schools that harasses students or excludes them from activities on the basis of these differences. 49 out of the 82 members of the LGBT Equality Caucus cosponsored this bill on the day of its introduction.
The endorsement of three new bills marks significant activity by the LGBT Equality Caucus. But what of the other 16 bills that are already named on the caucus’ slate? For these bills, the only activity seen in the month of January 2010 was Jared Polis’ cosponsorship of H.R. 2625 and Mazie Hirono‘s cosponsorship of H.R. 2262.
More than a year into the 111th Congress, Rep. Patrick Murphy counts himself as a member of the LGBT Equality Caucus, but has only acted in support of 3 out of the 19 bills that make up the caucus slate. As of today, Murphy is the least supportive member of the LGBT Equality Caucus.