Scroll To Top

Election Results for LGBT Voters: U.S. House

Election Results for LGBT Voters: U.S. House


The list of Republicans keeping their seats in the House includes some of the most antigay.


The LGBT caucus in the House of Representatives failed to expand its ranks on Tuesday, though its existing members managed to hang on to their seats in a night that saw serious losses in both chambers for Democrats and supporters of LGBT equality. Famous faces such as Clay Aiken and the well-monied likes of Sean Eldridge weren't able to break through. Meanwhile, a number of downright scary antigay figures shored up the ranks of the opposition.

Jared_polix633_0Rep. Jared Polis, Democrat, Colorado's Second District

RESULT: Polls Prove Prescient as Polis Cruises to Fourth Term

As the first out father in Congress, and a three-term veteran with deep pockets, popularity, and political clout, Jared Polis handily won reelection Tuesday night, besting his Republican challenger by nearly 10 points, according to NBC News.

Polis had positioned himself squarely at the center of both state and national issues, threatening to fund referendums to halt fracking, until Democratic Gov. John Hickenlooper agreed to create a task force examining the new energy source, a high-profile issue in the north and Western portions of the state included in Colorado's Second District, which encompasses liberal strongholds like Boulder, as well as more traditionally moderate areas like Larimer and Summit counties.

An early supporter of Colorado's successful effort to legalize recreational marijuana use, Polis has spoken to the issue on the House floor, and recently penned an op-ed in the Bend Bulletin calling on Oregon to follow Colorado's example when it comes to regulating marijuana like alcohol. And on Tuesday, Oregon voters took Polis's advice and legalized the recreational use of marijuana for adults in the state, as did voters in the Nation's capitol city of Washington, D.C., according to NPR. In the first session of the current 113th Congress, he introduced legislation that would end the federal prohibition on marijuana.

Polis is an original House sponsor of the Employment Non-Discrimination Act, which would make it illegal to fire, refuse to hire, or decline to promote a worker because they are LGBT. After more than a year of inaction in the Republican-controlled House following ENDA's bipartisan passage in the U.S. Senate, Polis launched a procedural move known as a discharge petition, aiming to force a vote on ENDA.

On the 2013 National Day of Silence, Polis introduced the Student Non-Discrimination Act, legislation that looks to protect students from bullying, harassment, and discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender identity. In addition to being a stalwart supporter of education, he's also an outspoken supporter of comprehensive, compassionate immigration reform, including supporting the DREAM Act.

Political insider site put the Boulder Democrat with a 95 percent chance of being reelected, while not even bothering to list Polis' challenger, George Leing. In 2012, Polis handily defeated then-challenger Ken Lundberg, a former leader in the state's Republican party who had arguably greater name recognition locally than does Leing. -- Sunnivie Brydum

Zach-dasherx633_0Zach Dasher, Louisiana

RESULT: Duck Dynasty Relative Gets Family Support, Still Falls Short

Republican congressional candidate Zach Dasher was endorsed by his uncle, Phil Robertson of Duck Dynasty fame, but he still didn't manage to advance in the race to represent Louisiana's Fifth Congressional District. In Louisiana, the general election is essentially a primary, and Dasher ran against a Democrat, a Libertarian, a Green Party member, and several other Republicans for the seat. The two top vote-getters, Monroe mayor Jamie Mayo (a Democrat) and Republican Ralph Abraham, a political newcomer, will compete in a runoff December 6. Mayo had 28 percent of the vote and Abraham 23.3 percent; Dasher was third with 22.6 percent, barely missing a runoff slot, according to Louisiana's News-Star. Dasher is more tempered in his antigay rhetoric than his famous uncle, but ideologically they're on the same page. "Fundamentally we come from the same place," Dasher said of Robertson in a September interview with a Louisiana paper, adding, "I believe in the Bible and the inspired word of God. I believe marriage should be between one man and one woman." He also had the endorsement of the antigay Family Research Council's political action arm. His wife, Jill, has called homosexuality an addiction that can be overcome, like alcoholism or drug abuse. -- Trudy Ring

Louie-gohmertx633_0Louie Gohmert, Texas

RESULT: Noted Homophobe Louie Gohmert Wins Another Term

Republican Louie Gohmert, who is in a class by himself when it comes to bizarre rants about gays, coasted to victory in his conservative east Texas district, taking 78 percent of the vote to Democrat Shirley McKellar's 22 percent, with 88 percent of precincts in, reports the AP. Gohmert has been in Congress since 2005, and he's racked up quite the record of antigay rhetoric. Remarks that mixed gun control, marriage equality, and bestiality helped him win an AdvocatePhobie Award for 2013, and he's kept up the pace this year. In January he said pro-marriage equality judges "need some basic plumbing lessons," in May he accused LGBT activists of using Nazi-like tactics to silence their opponents, and just a few days ago he made a strange comment about soldiers in ancient Greece receiving massages from same-sex lovers to justify his opposition to gays serving in the military. Oh, and he says he and his ilk "love homosexuals," but just don't endorse how gay people lead their lives. Regarding other issues, he's obsessed with Benghazi and he recently denounced President Obama for sending U.S. troops to Africa to help fight the Ebola outbreak, saying the troops will bring the virus home. Earlier he said it was Central American refugees bringing Ebola into the United States. -- Trudy Ring

Steve-kingx633_0Steve King, Iowa

RESULT: Antigay Iowa Republican Keeps House Seat

Minnesota's Michele Bachmann is retiring from Congress, but a couple of the folks who've been reelected will still be bringing the antigay crazy. Steve King (whose homophobic ideology is as scary as the fictional creations of a similarly named guy) won reelection over Democratic challenger Jim Mowrer, who conceded the race shortly after 10 p.m., according to The Des Moines Register. An example of King's thinking: Just last month, when an Iowa newspaper asked him about gay people's prospects in the afterlife, he said, "I'll just say that what was a sin 2,000 years ago is a sin today, and people that were condemned to hell 2,000 years ago, I don't expect to meet them should I make it to heaven." Later, on a conservative radio show, "King simultaneously stood by what he said and claimed that the story was 'false' and had been 'fabricated,'" as Right Wing Watch put it. "What I said was it's between them and God," he said on The Steve Malzberg Show. "And I said what was a sin 2,000 years ago is a sin today. That was what I said. And I stand on what I said, and they've manufactured this." -- Trudy Ring

Krysten-synemax633_0Kyrsten Sinema, Arizona

RESULT: Arizona's Most Secure Democrat Keeps Seat
Kyrsten Sinema will keep her position in the House, beating Republican Wendy Rogers with 54 percent of the vote, the Associated Press reports.

Going into the election, Congress's only openly bisexual member, Sinema fought to retain her seat as Republicans have already amped up their efforts in early voting. While Sinema may be the strongest of the three Arizona Democrats running for reelection to Congress, her Republican opponent Wendy Rogers is ahead by 6 points in early votes, as of Monday morning, the Arizona Republic reports. Sinema, whose district elected President Obama in 2012 by just four points, has had a track record of bipartisan work since her days in the state legislature, which some see as an asset to her campaign, particularly for vulnerable Democrats in Arizona. --Michelle Garcia

Marktakanox633_0Mark Takano, California

RESULT: Takano Holds On To House Seat
Openly gay California Democrat Mark Takano retained his House seat Tuesday night against Republican challenger Steve Adams, the Associated Press reports. According to the Press-Enterprise, Takano was ahead of Adams as of 9 p.m. PST.

After his first term in Congress, out gay Rep. Mark Takano is holding steady against Republican challenger Steve Adams. Last week, the two went face to face in a contentious debate in which Adams said "Middle Easterners, Syrians" and Iranians are crossing the border into the United States from Mexico, and Takano tried to throw Adams off by speaking Spanish in an awkward exchange. As Takano represents a heavily Latino area in California's Inland Empire, Democrats are fearing a drop in turnout among the Latino population. --Michelle Garcia

Glenn-grothmanx633_0Glenn Grothman, Wisconsin

RESULT: Repub Who Called Same-Sex Marriage "Immoral" Wins House Seat

Republican Glenn Grothman has been elected to the U.S. House from Wisconsin's Sixth Congressional District, the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reports. With 56 percent of precincts reporting, he had 58 percent of the vote to Democrat Mark Harris's 40 percent, leading the paper to call the race for him. Grothman, currently a state senator, didn't take kindly to the arrival of marriage equality in Wisconsin. For state officials to make a record of same-sex couples' marriage licenses to amounts to "legitimizing illegal and immoral marriages," he said in June, after a federal judge struck down the state's ban on same-sex unions -- a decision later upheld by the Seventh Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals and permitted to stand by the Supreme Court. (After the Supreme Court declined to review the appellate ruling, even Wisconsin's conservative Republican governor, Scott Walker, conceded that marriage equality is the law of the land.) Grothman also found it objectionable that U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry criticized Uganda's "jail the gays" law. "What we have is the Secretary of State going to Africa and educating Ugandans or saying he is going to send American scientists to Uganda to explain how normal homosexuality is. ... What must God think of our country?" he said on a right-wing radio show in April.

On other issues? Well, he thinks Kwanzaa is not a legitimate holiday, abortion should be illegal under all circumstances, and union workers are lazy. Retiring congressman Tom Petri, although a fellow Republican, declined to endorse Grothman. Grothman did, however, have the endorsement of noted homophobe Rick Santorum, former U.S. senator and failed presidential aspirant. -- Trudy Ring

Susanne-atanus_grabx633_0Susanne Atanus, Illinois

RESULT: Defeat for Candidate Who Blamed Gays for Tornadoes, Autism

Illlinois Republican Susanne Atanus, who was disavowed by her party after saying same-sex marriage and legal abortion brought on God's wrath in the form of autism and tornadoes, will not be going to Congress. Popular incumbent Democrat and LGBT rights supporter Jan Schakowsky has 65 percent of the vote with 411 of 537 precincts reporting, according to the Daily Herald, a suburban Chicago newspaper. There are also two write-in candidates in the race, and their vote total won't be known for several days, "but Schakowsky's lead is virtually insurmountable," the Herald reports. That's the same paper to which Atanus gave an interview in January, saying, "God is angry. We are provoking him with abortions and same-sex marriage and civil unions. Same-sex activity is going to increase AIDS. If it's in our military, it will weaken our military. We need to respect God." Incredibly, she then won the Republican primary over a more moderate candidate who may have been hurt by his personal history (an ex-girlfriend accused him of impersonating her online in an effort to make her lose her job and be kicked out of school) and the fact that he used to be a Democrat. The Illinois Republican Party asked her to quit the race, but she refused, and the party withdrew its support. Running against Schakowsky in a heavily Democratic district, which includes parts of Chicago's north side and northern suburbs, Atanus proved to be no more than a distraction. -- Trudy Ring

Jody_hicex633_0Jody Hice, Georgia

RESULT: Antigay Alarmist Jody Hice Wins Ga. Congressional Seat

Jody Hice, a Baptist minister and talk show host, has won the race for U.S. House from Georgia's 10th District, a suburban and exurban area between Atlanta and Augusta. With 71 percent of precincts reporting, Hice had 64 percent to Democrat Ken Dious's 36 percent, according to The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, which declared Hice the winner. He will succeed fellow Republican Paul Broun, who did not seek reelection, and although Broun was reliably conservative, his ideology pales beside Hice's. Hice's 2012 bookIt's Now or Never: A Call to Reclaim America quoted from a gay writer's 1987 essay that said, among other things, "We shall sodomize your sons, emblems of your feeble masculinity, of your shallow dreams and vulgar lies. ... They will come to crave and adore us." Hice went on to comment, "These shocking words by Michael Swift have been considered part of the 'gay manifesto' by many, and reveal the radical agenda that is currently threatening our nation." One problem: The whole essay was satire. In the same book, Hice said marriage equality would have "drastic results and irreversible consequences." By the way, he thinks Islam is not a religion and that tragedies such as the 2012 school shooting in Newtown, Conn., are the result of the nation "kicking God out of the schools." -- Trudy Ring

Sean_eldregex633_0Sean Eldridge, New York

RESULT: Sean Eldridge Gets Trounced

The young husband of Facebook co-founder and New Republic owner Chris Hughes ran for Congress in New York's 19th district. He lost by over 25 percent points to Republican Chris Gibson. It didn't help that many view Eldridge as a Democratic carpetbagger who moved to the district solely to get elected. --Neal Broverman

Marc-pocanx633_0_0Marc Pocan, Wisconsin

RESULT: Marc Pocan is One of the Rare Dems Who Had a Good Night on Tuesday

Pocan, the out politician who inherited the Congressional seat once occupied by now-Senator Tammy Baldwin, was all but assured reelection. While everything else seemed to go wrong for the Democrats, at least Pocan held onto his seat. --Neal Broverman

Anthony-cullerx633_0Anthony Culler, South Carolina

RESULT: Gay 'Gremlins'Warning Doesn't Work forS.C. Republican

Republican House candidate Anthony Culler, who upped his antigay crazy game with a Facebook post that said gay people are "gremlins" (like in the 1980s movie, yes) who are out to destroy the social order, and same-sex marriage is a "pestilence," ended up posing no threat to incumbent Democrat Jim Clyburn, who won another term easily. Early returns showed Clyburn with 74 percent of the vote to Culler's 25 percent, with the remainder going to a Libertarian candidate, the Associated Press reports. Clyburn, an LGBT ally and marriage equality supporter, won a 12th term; he is the only Democratic member of South Carolina's congressional delegation. Culler wrote in his infamous Facebook post, "Do not buy the 'cuteness' and 'What will it hurt?' arguments whispered in your ears and marketed to our children. Same-sex couples that seek to destroy our way of life and the institution of marriage are NOT cute and cuddly but rather (for those of you that are old enough to remember the movie), Gremlins that will only destroy our way of life." Culler proved an embarrassment to the state Republican Party, did not actively support his campaign. -- Trudy Ring

Caly_aikenx633_0Clay Aiken, North Carolina

RESULT: Not Enough Claymates In the Tarheel State

The former American Idol finalist was in a tough battle with Republican representative Renee Ellmers, who long led him in this race for North Carolina's GOP-leaning 2nd Congressional District. Democrat Aiken has worked to distance himself from President Obama, something Bill Maher tore him apart for. But his anti-Obama strategy wasn't enough and he failed to unseat Ellmers (coming in second again). The bad news piled up for Aiken on Tuesday as his campaign bus broke down earlier in the day. --Neal Broverman

David-cicillinex633_0David Cicciline, Rhode Island

RESULT: Republican Fails to Knock David Cicilline Off His Unicorn

Former Providence mayor and current Congressman from Rhode Island, David Cicilline successfully ran for reelection against Republican Cormick Lynch. During a recent debate where Cicilline argued for a bump in the federal minimum wage, Lynch asked the out politician the color of the unicorn he rode in on. What's the color of victory? --Neal Broverman

Sean-patrick-maloney-and-fiance-randy-florkex633_0Sean Patrick Maloney, New York

RESULT: Sean Patrick Maloney Has Friends in High Places ... Which May Have Paid Off

Incumbent congressman Sean Patrick Maloney has declared victory, though opponent Nan Hayworth isn't conceding. With all of the vote in, Maloney has 79,705 votes, compared to Hayworth at 77,961. The race hadn't been called for either by the Associated Press as of the end of the night on Tuesday.

This congressman was looking for another two years in office and led in polls heading into Election Day in this rematch of a race two years ago against the GOP's Hayworth, who had held the seat. From her time in the House, Hayworth has a reputation as an LGBT ally and has included her gay son in the campaign. Senators Charles Schumer and Kirsten Gillibrand recently campaigned for Maloney, a good reminder for voters how much influence Maloney wields in Washington. --Neal Broverman

Richard-tseix633_0Richard Tsei, Massachusetts

RESULT: Out Republican Tries His Hand Again in Massachusetts... and Loses

Richard Tisei almost unseated a Democratic congressman, John Tierney, two years ago. This year, he was in a race against a political neophyte after Sean Moulton trounced Tierney in a Democratic primary. Tisei says he's fiscally conservative but socially liberal, but apparently that didn't work for New England voters; he conceded to Moulton on Tuesday night. --Neal Broverman

Louie-minor_grabx633_0Louie Minor, Texas

RESULT: Gay Latino Loses in Texas's 31st District

Louie Minor ran in a district that encompasses a swath of central Texas, which includes part of Austin, as well as Fort Hood and Killeen. The conservative voters of the state rejected Minor, who is gay, Latino, and only 35, though he said his minority statuses weren't an issue in his race against antigay John Carter. Hopefully, we haven't seen the last of Minor, an Army veteran. --Neal Broverman

RESULT: Three Republicans Lead Their Party on Marriage Equality
Ileana-ros-lehtinenx633_0Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, Florida

Richard_hannax633_0Richard Hanna, New York

Charlie-dentx633_0Charlie Dent, Pennsylvania

There are just three Republicans in the House who support marriage equality, and all of them will win reelection, having no challenger.
Ileana Ros-Lehtinen of Florida is perhaps the most prominent of the group because she led the way and became the first in her party to publicly support marriage equality back in July 2012, even co-sponsoring a bill to repeal the Defense of Marriage Act. After announcing her position, she won reelection.
Ros-Lehtinen was followed that year in December by Richard Hanna of New York, who had already won reelection. In this cycle, Hanna is essentially unofficially reelected because he has no opponent, as has Ros-Lehtinen.
Charles Bass of New York was actually the third House Republican to follow suit but he did so as a lame duck, only after losing a reelection bid in 2012.
Republican Charlie Dent of Pennsylvania, who is also unchallenged, made headlines this year when he became the third sitting GOP member to back marriage equality, arguing his party had overemphasized marriage equality as an issue, telling The Washington Post that "Life is too short to have the force of government stand in the way of two adults whose pursuit of happiness includes marriage." -- Lucas Grindley

Carl-demaiox633_0Carl DeMaio, California

RESULT: Can This Gay Republican Rise Against Burgeoning Scandals?

San Diego Republican Carl DeMaio could still become the only out Republican member of the House. With all precincts counted in California's District 52, tallies show him with 50.26 percent of the vote, compared to 49.74 percent for opponent Scott Peters. The two are separated by just 752 votes, and the San Diego Union-Tribunereports thousands of absentee and provisional ballots might remain to be counted, opening the prospect a final result won't be known for days.

House Speaker John Boehner, who has not exactly been too keen to put LGBT rights bills up for a vote, hit the campaign trail for DeMaio of San Diego. While the city has some conservative roots with the presence of military bases, its positioning in Southern California on the border with Mexico, plus a strong LGBT community, allows more liberal leanings.

Nonetheless, DeMaio is plagued by at least two staff members who have stepped forward claiming he had sexually harassed them while on the campaign. DeMaio's campaign spokesman Dave McCulloch said the allegations are false, and the San Diego County District Attorney's Office says there is not enough evidence available to prosecute DeMaio.

Still, DeMaio says he is confident that he is emblematic of an evolved Republican Party, that has room for LGBT politicos under its tent. While he was one of three openly gay Republicans running for Congress (the other two lost), he was the first among them to feature a same-sex partner in a campaign ad.

"I actually represent the new generation that is coming up," DeMaio said in July. He added, "There, unfortunately, have been some few voices who have said that I am somehow disqualified from any leadership role because of whom I love, and I think that my constituents spoke loudly and clearly on June 3 in the primary that they completely disagree with that kind of thinking." --Michelle Garcia

Advocate Channel - The Pride StoreOut / Advocate Magazine - Fellow Travelers & Jamie Lee Curtis

From our Sponsors

Most Popular

Latest Stories Editors