GLAAD is releasing research on the anti-LGBTQ records of senators who supported unsubstantiated claims about the 2020 election that led to the violent insurrection at the U.S. Capitol in January.
These senators continue to vote against investigating those responsible for the lies and incitement leading to the deadly assault, while prioritizing legislation and false rhetoric targeting transgender people and youth.
Five of the eight senators who voted to object to the Electoral College counts in Arizona and Pennsylvania have co-sponsored an anti-transgender bill in the opening days of the new session to ban trans participation in sports.
Five of the anti-trans bill co-sponsors voted to object to the Electoral College counts just hours after the deadly Capitol assault: Sen. Tommy Tuberville of Alabama, Sen. Josh Hawley of Missouri, Sen. Cindy Hyde-Smith of Mississippi, Sen. Roger Marshall of Kansas, and Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas.
All co-sponsors of the bill - promising "protection of women and girls" from a non-existent threat from trans people - have repeatedly voted against protecting democracy and the safety of their colleagues in Congress.
"The record shows a clear pattern: these senators are more interested in protecting the most powerful among us like former President Trump than they are in protecting the most vulnerable, including LGBTQ people and youth," said GLAAD President and CEO Sarah Kate Ellis."More than a dozen senators are choosing to target transgender youth, with bills and rhetoric that threaten their safety at school, while continuing to vote against a full accounting of the violent attack at the Capitol."
Eight senators joined 139 House Republicans in continuing to back the former president's unsupported claims about the 2020 vote that led to the storming of their workplace and the stalking of their colleagues, Vice President Pence among them.
The senators continued to support former President Trump, voting to dismiss his impeachment trial based on false claims that it is unconstitutional (the Constitution does not bar such a trial).
On Tuesday, February 9th, these senators voted again to reject the trial to investigate former president Trump on charges of spreading lies and inciting violence.
The Senators' votes go against the wishes of a majority of Americans, 56% of whom say the former president should be convicted and barred from holding federal office again.
Details of the senators' anti-LGBTQ records:
Sen. Rand Paul of Kentucky, appeared maskless and ignored videotaped evidence presented Tuesday of the former president's speech encouraging the siege on the Capitol. Last week, Sen. Paul falsely attacked transgender girls at the confirmation hearing for Secretary of Education nominee Miguel Cardona. Sen. Paul claimed, without evidence, that trans participation will "destroy girls' athletics." Trans athletes have been participating without incident or destruction for decades, in high school, college, the Olympics and professional and amateur sports leagues.
Sen. Tommy Tuberville of Alabama has a history of transphobic remarks and ties to anti-LGBTQ activists, while acting as a promoter for then-President Trump's lies about the 2020 election and actively supporting so-called "stop the steal" organizers the night before the attack on the Capitol. Sen. Tuberville has shown a consistent unfamiliarity with The U.S. Constitution he has sworn to uphold, calling for President Biden's swearing in to be delayed and calling the three branches of government "house, senate and executive" (the three branches of government, as outlined in the Constitution, are legislative, executive and judicial).
Sen. Roger Marshall of Kansas campaigned in the Senate primary with a false ad claiming his opponent "bankrolled a transgender rights group," without explaining why advocating for transgender rights should be a negative in a campaign. Sen. Marshall has continued spreading inaccurate and harmful views about transgender girls and falsehoods about transgender youth participation in sports.
Sen. Cindy Hyde-Smith of Mississippi's anti-LGBTQ record includes vocal opposition to same-sex commitment ceremonies at the taxpayer-funded Mississippi Agriculture & Forestry Museum. Sen. Hyde-Smith has made racist remarks such as offering praise to a supporter, "If he invited me to a public hanging, I'd be on the front row." Mississippi has a history of lynching. Sen. Hyde-Smith was running against Mike Espy as he campaigned to be the first Black person elected to the U.S. Senate from Mississippi.
Sen. Josh Hawley of Missouri, an early supporter of the lies about the 2020 election despite an overwhelming lack of evidence, signed a Supreme Court amicus brief defending a taxpayer-funded foster care agency's right to discriminate against qualified same-sex couples. Last June, after a landmark Supreme Court decision expanding the rights of LGBTQ workers not to be discriminated against, Sen. Hawley argued the ruling, "represents the end of the conservative legal movement." Sen. Hawley, whose book deal was revoked after his moves to support insurrection, has frequently complained of being a victim of "cancel culture" in appearances with anti-LGBTQ groups like Focus on the Family, and in media appearances with WGEM, KSDK, KTVO, KOAM, KMBC, KYTV, KRCG, KMOX, 41 Action News, KCMO radio, KWTO, the St. Joseph News Press, and Nexstar TV. The editorial board of the Kansas City Star says Sen. Hawley has "blood on his hands" by encouraging the coup attempt. The St. Louis Post-Dispatch editorial page says Sen. Hawley should resign, condemning his fist-pumping and cheering of rioters arriving on Capitol Hill and his insincere rejection of the resulting violence as "at the top of his substantial list of phony, smarmy and politically expedient declarations."
Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas has led efforts to block marriage equality in his state, proposed a federal constitutional amendment against marriage equality, and criticized the landmark SCOTUS ruling granting it. Sen. Cruz backed accused child predator Roy Moore who called same sex marriage "worse than slavery."
Sen. Cynthia Lummis of Wyoming has an anti-LGBTQ record that GLAAD has tracked for years, including voting against LGBTQ students and their families. Sen. Lummis has criticized the Supreme Court's marriage equality decision, saying marriage "should be left to the states under the Constitution." Sen. Lummis represents the state where Matthew Shepard was heinously murdered for being gay. She voted against federal LGBTQ-inclusive hate crimes laws.
The new anti-transgender bill, "Protection of Women and Girls in Sports Act," is led by Utah Senator Mike Lee, who has a long history of arguing and voting against LGBTQ people, and has 13 Senate co-sponsors: Cindy Hyde-Smith (Mississippi), James Lankford (Oklahoma), Tom Cotton (Arkansas), Marsha Blackburn (Tennessee), Roger Marshall (Kansas), Jim Inhofe (Oklahoma), Shelley Moore Capito (West Virginia), Josh Hawley (Missouri), Ted Cruz (Texas), Kevin Cramer (North Dakota), Joni Ernst (Iowa), Rand Paul (Kentucky), and Tommy Tuberville (Alabama).
Claims that trans women and girls have an unfair advantage are at odds with the reality of most trans girls' lives. 22% of trans women perceived as trans in school were harassed to the point they had to leave school because of it. 45% of trans students avoid the bathroom at school.
GLAAD also noted the anti-LGBTQ record of Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene as the House voted last week to remove her from committee assignments following her embrace of violent conspiracy theories and rhetoric against Congressional colleagues. Rep. Greene's political career was launched with a tirade against Drag Queen Story Hour at a library and propelled by her embrace of QAnon conspiracy theories the FBI has called a domestic terror threat. Rep. Greene has also co-sponsored anti-transgender legislation and falsely claimed that critics want to eliminate gender roles and "destroy our country." The House voted 230-199 to remove Rep. Greene from her committee assignments. Eleven Republicans joined 219 Democrats to back removal. 199 GOP lawmakers voted against.
GLAAD tracked the Trump administration's more than 181 attacks against LGBTQ Americans over his one-term presidency in our Trump Accountability Project. The tally includes negative policies and rhetoric deployed by the Trump White House and its supporters in Congress.
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