Gay voters given election guidance

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As the US population prepares for the Congressional elections, a gay rights group has prepared a document helping the LGBT community decide who to vote for.

The Human Rights Campaign (HRC) has compiled a scorecard that outlines how they have voted on GLBT issues during the 109th Congress.

HRC legislative director Allison Herwitt says it is a “vital tool” for the November poll.

“This scorecard is a vital tool for rating members of Congress on votes important to our community in the last legislative session,” said Ms Allison Herwitt.

“With the Federal Marriage Amendment and other critically important votes to our community rated in this scorecard, we would encourage all LGBT individuals and straight supporters to take a careful look and know where your representative stands on issues of equality and fairness.”

The 2006 Human Rights Campaign scorecard rates members of Congress on important votes and their support of critical legislation taken during the 109th legislative session.

These Senate bills and votes includes the Federal Marriage Amendment, the Local Law Enforcement Hate Crimes Prevention Act, and the Military Readiness Enhancement Act.

There are 11 members of the US Senate (10 Democrats and one Republican) who scored a perfect 100 percent on this year’s scorecard. Additionally, there are 96 members of the US House (92 Democrats; three Republicans and one Independent) who also scored a perfect 100 percent.

This year’s scorecard reflects the resounding defeat of the Federal Marriage Amendment, for the second time. In the Senate, the 49 to 48 vote failed to muster even a majority (67 votes were needed for passage), but seven Republicans voted against the measure, including two senators, Gregg and Specter, who had voted in 2004 to move the amendment forward.

Following the Senate vote, the House again rejected the effort to put discrimination into the Constitution with a 236 to 187 bipartisan vote against the Federal Marriage Amendment, with 27 Republicans voting in opposition to the amendment.

The Congressional elections for the Senate and the House of Representatives takes place on November 7 2006.