A new survey provides clues into juuust how many gays are working on Capitol Hill

A new survey provides clues into juuust how many gays are working on Capitol Hill

You are currently viewing A new survey provides clues into juuust how many gays are working on Capitol Hill
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Breaking news: Capitol Hill is swarming with gays!

A new survey from the Senate Democrats highlights the diversity of each senator’s staff using race, ethnicity, gender, and sexual orientation (unsurprisingly, Senate Republicans don’t produce a comparable list). While all of those numbers are interesting, we’re focused on the gays, of course.

Everybody knows staffers do all of the real legislative work, anyway; so we’re here, we’re queer and we’re running the country!

Pennsylvania’s Bob Casey tops the list, with 30% of his staffers identifying as LGBTQ+. Patty Murray of Washington comes in second, and John Fetterman also from Pennsylvania, places third.

Fetterman, who’s serving his first term, celebrated his ranking with the classic Jennifer Coolidge meme from White Lotus… which we would like to think was the brilliant work of a gay on his social media team.

Digging deeper into the list, LGBTQ+ folx are well represented in virtually every Democratic senate office. All but five senators employ staffs in which at least 10% are LGBTQ+.

West Virginia’s Joe Manchin is the only senator in the caucus with 0 LGBTQ+ staffers. He has the least diverse staff among all of his colleagues.

Ten years ago, the New York Times called DC the “gayest place in America,” with 10% of residents identifying as LGBTQ+. Logan Circle, which is just a stone’s throw from Capitol Hill, is the city’s primary gayborhood.

But it wasn’t always that way. The “Lavender Scare” tore through Washington in the 1950s, thanks to the fear-mongering of Senator Joseph McCarthy, a repugnant man. Suspected homosexuals were fired en mass from federal jobs, and FBI director J. Edgar Hoover (who is suspected of engaging in same-sex relations himself) set his sights on a “ring of homosexuals” who were supposedly operating “at the highest levels of the government.”

At the time, homosexuality was often conflated with communism. Hoover actually prepared a secret report for Dwight Eisenhower’s chief of staff that painted his choice to serve as ambassador to the Soviet Union, Charles “Chip” Bohlen, as a gay communist sympathizer.

These anti-gay sentiments stuck around Washington for decades. In fact, it was only during Bill Clinton’s presidency that the White House finally ended its decades-long practice of denying security clearances to people known to be LGBTQ+.

“That meant in order to be considered for many high-level jobs involving access to classified information, gays and lesbians had to concoct a web of lies about their personal lives,” writes the author of the aforementioned NYT story, Jeremy Peters.

We’ve come a long way from those times. This Congress features a record-setting number of out LGBTQ+ members (13), with two senators, Tammy Baldwin and Krysten Sinema, identifying as LGBTQ+.

The story is a bit different on the right side of the aisle, but that doesn’t mean the GOP isn’t filled with LGBTQ+ staffers. It’s just much more “hush hush.”

That means Dem staffers show face on the grid, whereas Republican staffers are probably left showing torso.

Womp womp.

DL or not, we’ve long known that gays are all over Congress, and this report shows it. Scroll down for more reaction to the senate’s big gay report…


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