Five members of Texas’ congressional delegation support marriage equality, according to the Human Rights Campaign, but only two earned perfect scores of 100 percent on the group’s Congressional Scorecard for the 112th Congress released Thursday.
Reps. Eddie Bernice Johnson, D-Dallas, and Silvestre Reyes, D-El Paso, were among 115 members of the House nationally who receive scores of 100 percent from HRC. While Johnson is expected to win re-election easily on Nov. 6, Reyes was defeated by Beto O’Rourke in the Democratic Primary. Johnson received a perfect score for the sixth consecutive time, dating back 10 years to 2002. She has failed to receive a 100 only twice during two decades in Congress.
Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee, D-Houston, who has regularly received a 100 on the scorecard, fell to 85 this year for failing to co-sponsor legislation that would “equalize the tax treatment of employer-provided health coverage for domestic partners and other non-spouse, non-dependent beneficiaries.”
Overall, the average score in the House fell from 50.8 percent in the 111th Congress to 40 percent in the current Congress, according to the Washington Blade. In the Senate, the average score went from 57.3 percent in the 111th Congress to 35 percent in the current 112th Congress.
“While we continue to make advancements towards equality in Washington, the 112th Congress has more anti-equality members set on halting our progress,” HRC President Chad Griffin told the Blade.
This year, for the first time, HRC asked members of Congress whether they support marriage equality. Their responses are listed on the scorecard but were not factored into their scores.
The Texas representatives who said they support marriage equality were all Democrats: Johnson, Reyes, Jackson Lee, Charlie Gonzalez of San Antonio and Lloyd Doggett of Houston.
Among Texas’ 23 Republicans, the only two who didn’t receive zeroes on the scorecard were Ron Paul and Ted Poe, who both received a 15.
In the Senate, Texas Republican John Cornyn received a score of 15, while fellow Republican Kay Bailey Hutchison received a zero.