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Back to Section One | Back to Arts & Entertainment
posted Friday, August 10 2012 - Volume 40 Issue 32
HRC gives Murray and McDermott perfect score on LGBT issues
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HRC gives Murray and McDermott perfect score on LGBT issues

Republicans score consistently low in new ratings

by Mike Andrew - SGN Staff Writer

U.S. Sen. Patty Murray (D-Wash.) and Seattle's veteran congressman, Rep. Jim McDermott (D-7th Dist.), both earned a 100% rating on HRC's new congressional scorecard. The ratings were released August 3.

HRC rated members of Congress based on their votes, sponsorship, or co-sponsorship of 13 key bills affecting the LGBT community.

In July Murray tied for first place with Sen. Daniel Akaka (D-Hawaii) and Sen. John Kerry (D-Mass.) in a list of pro-LGBT Senators released by ThinkProgress.org.

As part of the Senate's Democratic leadership team and chair of the Committee on Veterans' Affairs, Murray played a key role in repealing the Pentagon's 'Don't Ask, Don't Tell' rule. In April she met with local Gay and Lesbian veterans to discuss ongoing problems in dealing with the Department of Veterans Affairs after repeal of DADT.

'I am very proud to be an advocate and supporter in the fight for equal rights,' Murray told SGN in an e-mail.

'We've had some important victories in Congress for the LGBT community, but we all know there is much more work ahead both here at home and across the country. I look forward to continuing to build on this progress and am grateful for the tireless work of those who have dedicated their lives to this cause.'

McDermott has been a co-sponsor of every important piece of pro-LGBT legislation to be introduced in recent years, including DADT repeal and a bill to repeal the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA). He was also prime sponsor of a bill to equalize the federal tax burden for same-sex couples.

Washington's other U.S. Senator, Democrat Maria Cantwell, earned a 96% rating. Democratic Rep. Adam Smith, whose 9th District now includes most of Seattle south of Madison Street, got 97%.

Reps. Rick Larson (D-2nd Dist.) and Norm Dicks (D-6th Dist.) both earned 94% ratings.

LOW MARKS FOR GOP
Washington's Republican members of Congress did not fare so well, however.

Rep. Dave Reichert (R-8th Dist.) scored a 40% rating. Reichert follows the Republican Party line on most social issues, but he did vote for DADT repeal. He has not revealed how he might vote on other pro-LGBT legislation if Republican House leaders were to allow it to come to the floor.

Reps. Doc Hastings (R-4th Dist.) and Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-5th Dist.), on the other hand, have been quite open about their hostility to the LGBT community. Both earned HRC ratings of zero.

Rep. Jaime Herrera Beutler (R-3rd Dist.), who was first elected in 2010, was not rated. The First Congressional District currently does not have a congressional representative, since Jay Inslee resigned to run for governor.

The scorecard can be accessed online at www.hrc.org.

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