Wednesday, January 05, 2011

And Cicilline Makes Four

As the 112th Congress is sworn in, beginning a Republican majority in the House and launching Rep. John Boehner (R-Ohio) into the prominent position of Speaker of the House, it is important to note that we now have four openly gay representatives currently serving in the House, moreso than ever before.

Rep. David Cicilline (D-R.I.) was sworn in today, joining Reps. Tammy Baldwin (D-Wisc.), Barney Frank (D-Mass.) and Jared Polis (D-Colo.).  Cicilline is the seventh openly gay congressional candidate in history to win election.

But while this is certainly a milestone worth celebrating, we should also keep in mind that this is still not remotely proportional to the size of our community within the US population. 

The size of the gay population is difficult to pinpoint, but most agree that it is somewhere around 6% of the total US population.  For the LGBT community to be proportionally represented in congress, we would need the House to be 6% openly gay as well, which would be 26 openly gay congressmen.  Right now, the percentage of Congress which is openly gay is only .9%.

We have a lot of work to do until LGBT interests are sufficiently represented in congress.  But today, let's congratulate Cicilline on his swearing-in and look forward to future electoral victories for the LGBT community.

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