U.S. Rep. David Scott, a Democrat, is now the third member of Congress from Georgia to speak out in favor of marriage equality for same-sex couples. Scott joins Reps. John Lewis and Hank Johnson, also Democrats from the Atlanta area.
"Congressman Scott fully supports marriage equality," stated an email from Scott's spokesperson received by gay blog Joe.My.God. yesterday.
The blog reached out to Scott's office after a reader said that he and his partner met with Scott and he told them he supported marriage equality.
You won't find many Georgia names among the 172 members of the U.S. House and 40 U.S. senators who signed a brief asking the Supreme Court to strike down the Defense of Marriage Act, which bars federal recognition of same-sex marriage.
The amicus brief was submitted March 1, signed by 212 senators and representatives — some 40 percent of the 535 voting Congress members, according to the LGBT blog New Civil Rights Movement.
The brief argues Section 3 of DOMA, which bars federal marriage rights to same-sex couples, "lacks a rational connection to any legitimate federal purpose, and is therefore unconstitutional."
U.S. Rep. Hank Johnson (D-Atlanta) has been elected the Progressive Caucus Whip for the 112th Congress, according to a press release issued by Johnson’s office.
Rep. Hank Johnson (official photo)
“I’m ready for the battles ahead,” said Johnson. “We won’t shy away from a fight and I’m honored to help lead the progressive charge.”
Johnson won reelection against Republican Liz Carter in November. Carter was endorsed by the gay Log Cabin Republicans.
Johnson received a 95 on the last Human Rights Campaign scorecard, which tracks politicians' votes on LGBT issues. He has been a vocal supporter of LGBT issues during his time in Congress.
In spite of gains made across the country by Republicans typically unsupportive of LGBT rights, there were several important victories for the LGBT equality movement last night.
While it now seems unlikely that the Employment Nondiscrimination Act will be pass in the next session or efforts to repeal “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” will continue in the U.S. House, many high-profile victories on the state and local level could signal opportunity for continued victories for LGBT rights.
Last night, New York elected Andrew Cuomo, son of former governor Mario Cuomo, as its next governor over Republican challenger Carl Paladino. Paladino made several anti-gay remarks (a few of which forced apologies) during the campaign, while Cuomo vowed to work toward marriage equality in the Empire state. “He will fight to make sure all couples have equal marriage rights under the law,” his website says.
Georgia's two most gay-friendly members of the U.S. House won reelection Tuesday, despite the Republican Party taking control of the House in a switch likely to doom repeal of "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" and other gay rights priorities this year.
Although Nov. 2 is expected to be a strong day for Republican congressional candidates, Atlanta Democratic Reps. John Lewis and Hank Johnson are expected to win by significant margins.
Dr. Charles Bullock, a political scientist at the University of Georgia in Athens, had a one word answer when asked if Lewis or Johnson were at risk of losing their seats in Congress.
“No,” Bullock said. “Those are very, very safe districts. John Lewis is an icon. If those two lose it would be a tsunami of biblical proportions.”
U.S. Rep. Hank Johnson’s campaign for a third term representing Georgia’s 4th Congressional District is facing challenges from the left and the right as six candidates try to represent the northeastern Atlanta district.
Republicans Victor Armendariz, Lisbeth “Liz” Carter, Larry Gause and Cory Ruth hope to win their party’s nomination in the July 20 Republican primary. On the Democratic side, Johnson faces DeKalb Commissioner Connie Stokes and former DeKalb CEO Vernon Jones in the primary. The winners of the party primaries will advance to the Nov. 2 general election ballot.