Congress sees record-breaking LGB representation

The 118th Congress kicked off 2023 with a record number of lesbian, gay and bisexual MPs.

The 118th Congress kicked off 2023 with a record number of lesbian, gay and bisexual MPs.

According to the Pew Research Center, the newly formed House and Senate have a total of 13 voting members who identify as lesbian, gay or bisexual. The two senators and 11 representatives exceed the number of the previous congress by two.

The number has more than tripled over the years since the 112th Congress, which saw only four members and no senators who identified as lesbian, gay or bisexual.

Since that moment, Senators Tammy Baldwin and Kyrsten Sinema have joined the panels as the first openly LGBT person and first openly bisexual, respectively, to serve in the chambers.

Representatives include Democrats Robert Garcia and Mark Takano of California, Sharice Davids of Kansas, Angie Craig of Minnesota, Mark Pocan of Wisconsin, Eric Sorensen of Illinois, Ritchie Torres of New York, Becca Balint of Vermont, Chris Pappas of New Hampshire and David Cicilline of Rhode Island.

George Santos of New York was the only openly gay non-incumbent Republican elected to the 118th Congress – lies about his life have led to various aspects of his life being scrutinized. Santos remains the only LGB congressman in the majority of the House of Representatives and has no plans to step down anytime soon.

The newly installed panel followed a series of successful votes from the previous Congress in favor of federal protections for same-sex and interracial marriages.

“Thanks to the millions out there who have pushed for change for years, and the persistent work of my peers, my grandchild will be able to live in a world that respects and honors their mothers’ marriages,” said Chuck Schumer, DN, Senate Majority Leader. Y. Said during the signing of the bill.

Schumer’s daughter Alison is same-sex married and the couple is expecting a child this spring.

While lesbian, gay and bisexual representation in the legislature has increased, politicians who openly identify as transgender or gender non-conforming have yet to be elected to Congress. However, some have tried to win a seat in the chamber, despite research showing voters have complex views on transdiscrimination and political issues.

A similar story is playing out at the state level, with the first trans man and woman only recently elected to state office, despite a historically diverse set of midterm winners. In the district, Monika Nemeth held the title of the first transgender person elected to a DC City Council position. She is currently President of the Capital Stonewall Democrats.

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