Ten openly LGBTQ people will be sworn-in to the 116th U.S. Congress this afternoon – two to the U.S. Senate and eight to the U.S. House – the most LGBTQ people to ever serve in either chamber. The previous record was held by the last Congress with seven LGBTQ people serving – one in the Senate and six in the House. Half of the 10 LGBTQ members will now be women and two are people of color, up from just two LGBTQ women and one person of color. Five of the members are new to their positions.
“A historic number of LGBTQ people will serve in the new U.S. Congress and their influence will shape the debate on equality legislation and issues moving forward,” said Mayor Annise Parker, President & CEO of LGBTQ Victory Institute. “In the U.S. Senate, those opposed to the Equality Act will now need to look two openly LGBTQ Senators in the eyes and tell them their lives are not worth protecting. In the U.S. House, Speaker Pelosi will have eight LGBTQ Representatives to consult about how various healthcare or criminal justice reform policies uniquely affect our community. The relationships these LGBTQ lawmakers will build with their colleagues on Capitol Hill are transformative, and with an unprecedented number of women and people of color also joining the 116th Congress, equality issues will finally receive the attention they deserve.”