Today marks a historic day: ten openly LGBTQ people will be sworn into the 116th U.S. Congress. Eight will be sworn into the House and two into the Senate, the most LGBTQ people to ever serve in either chamber.
Of these ten individuals, half are women and two are people of color.
The previous record for LGBTQ representation in congress was held by the last Congress; one in the Senate, six in the House. Only two were women and one was a person of color.
“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,” Mayor Annise Parker, President and CEO of LGBTQ Victory Institute, said in a statement.
“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,” Parker continued. “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.”
LGBTQ incumbents being sworn in are Tammy Baldwin from Wisconsin, David Cicilline from Rhode Island, Sean Patrick Maloney from New York, Mark Pocan from Wisconsin, and Mark Takano from California. Newcomers are Angie Craig from Minnesota, Sharise Davids from Kansas, Katie Hill fro California, Chris Pappas from New Hampshire, and Krysten Sinema from Arizona. Baldwin and Sinema make up the LGBTQ seats in Congress, while the rest are in the House.
“The relationships these LGBTQ lawmakers will build with their colleagues on Capitol Hill are transformative,” said Parker, “and with an unprecedented number of women and people of color