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House Republicans are 'obsessed' with attacking LGBTQ+ people, say Democratic lawmakers

House Speaker Mike Johnson out gay Congressman Mark Pocan
Win McNamee/Getty Images; Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call

GOP lawmakers should lay off the assault on LGBTQ+ rights, the Congressional Equality Caucus says in a new report.


The Congressional Equality Caucus is calling out House Republicans in a new report, slamming the conservative lawmakers as “obsessed” with attacking LGBTQ+ people.

The group, which promotes LGBTQ+ rights in Congress, noted how, in 2023, House Republicans held more than 50 anti-LGBTQ+ votes on the House floor, filed more than 95 anti-LGBTQ+ amendments to bills going to the floor, made anti-LGBTQ+ comments in over 40 committee hearings, and introduced more than 55 anti-LGBTQ+ bills.

“When Republicans took control of the House last year, they launched an avalanche of attacks against the LGBTQI+ community,” out Equality Caucus Chair Mark Pocan, a Democrat from Wisconsin, said in a press release. “You expect bullies in school, but there are bullies walking the halls of Congress too. The House GOP is obsessed with targeting LGBTQI+ people—especially trans kids—because it gives them a little more clout with the most extreme parts of their base.”

In the report, Pocan added that “cruelty is the point” with these bills and amendments. In a blistering condemnation of GOP bills, Pocan said that 46 Republicans had signed on to a bill sponsored by Georgia Republican U.S. Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene that would send doctors and parents to prison over providing gender-affirming care to youth.

“They seem to think that healthcare decisions should be made between families, their doctors, and Marjorie Taylor Greene,” he said.

The Equality Caucus said that House Republicans have attacked LGBTQ+ people by targeting evidence-based health care for trans youth, supporting discrimination, “hijacking” previously bipartisan funding bills, and electing Speaker Mike Johnson, who has a lengthy anti-LGBTQ+ record.

Examples included in the report are H.R. 5, which would require schools to out trans students to their parents. H.R. 734 would ban trans girls from competing in girls’ sports teams in schools. “Since the federal transgender and intersex sports ban passed the House, Republicans have not brought a single bill to the floor to address these disparities or other issues impacting girls’ and women’s sports,” the report states.

Funding bills and defense bills have also been used to try to jockey anti-LGBTQ+ amendments into legislation that was traditionally bipartisan. One such amendment would restrict access to gender-affirming care for trans service members and their families.

The Equality Caucus cautioned that the attacks against LGBTQ+ rights will most likely continue into this year. In a bill coming through the Energy and Commerce Committee, children’s hospitals that provide gender-affirming care would be barred from receiving federal funding to train pediatricians. That bill could come to a vote this year.

The group slammed the election of Johnson as speaker. It notes that as a member of Congress, Johnson has introduced anti-LGBTQ+ bills or voted against LGBTQ+ rights. He also has a history of working with the Alliance Defending Freedom, a noted anti-LGBTQ+ organization.

“House Republicans need to quit their obsessive attacks against our community and do what the American public wants Congress to do — tackle the actual challenges facing everyday Americans,” Pocan said.

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