Senators Against Impeachment with Anti-LGBTQ Records: “A history of protecting the powerful and targeting the most vulnerable”

February 9, 2021

As the Senate begins the second impeachment trial of former President Trump this week, GLAAD is releasing research about the anti-LGBTQ records of senators who voted to object to the Electoral College counts on January 6th.

Five of the eight voting to object to the Electoral College counts showing the former president lost the 2020 election have prioritized targeting transgender students in their first days of the new term. The five are Sen. Tommy Tuberville of Alabama, Sen. Josh Hawley of Missouri, Sen. Cindy Hyde-Smith of Mississippi, Sen. Roger Marshall of Kansas, and Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas. All five voted against both the Arizona and Pennsylvania Electoral College counts. All five have joined to co-sponsor an anti-transgender bill barring transgender participation in sports.

The violent insurrection on January 6th targeted lawmakers and their staff, journalists, Capitol Hill police, and the nation’s democratic process. More than 235 people have been charged in the attack so far.

Hours after the deadly assault, eight Senators joined 139 House Republicans in continuing to back the former president’s unsupported claims about the 2020 vote that led to the storming of their workplace and the stalking of their colleagues, Vice President Pence among them. The senators voted to object to the Electoral College certification that showed former President Trump lost the 2020 election. They voted to support dangerous lies and to support the outgoing president's role in spreading those lies, despite personally enduring the most traumatic attack on the U.S. government since 9/11. A few weeks later, they supported former President Trump once more, voting to dismiss his impeachment trial based on false claims that it is unconstitutional to conduct an impeachment trial for a president not in office (the Constitution does not bar such a trial).

The Senators’ votes to support former President Trump go against the wishes of a majority of Americans, 56% of whom say the former president should be convicted and barred from holding federal office again.

GLAAD research shows senators voting with President Trump and his lies have consistently voted and argued against LGBTQ people, including an anti-LGBTQ bill in the current session.

“The record shows a clear pattern: these senators are more interested in protecting the most powerful among us —like former President Trump—  than they are in protecting the most vulnerable, including LGBTQ people and youth,” said GLAAD President and CEO Sarah Kate Ellis.“

Here are details of the anti-LGBTQ records of the senators who have repeatedly voted to support former President:

  • Sen. Tommy Tuberville of Alabama has a history of transphobic remarks and ties to anti-LGBTQ activists. Sen. Tuberville has shown a consistent unfamiliarity with the U.S. Constitution he has sworn to uphold, calling for President Biden’s swearing in to be delayed and calling the three branches of government “house, senate and executive” (the three branches are legislative, executive and judicial).
  • Sen. Roger Marshall of Kansas campaigned in the Senate primary with a false ad claiming his opponent "bankrolled a transgender rights group," without explaining why advocating for transgender rights should be a negative in a campaign. Sen. Marshall has continued spreading inaccurate and harmful views about transgender girls and falsehoods about transgender youth participation in sports.
  • Sen. Cindy Hyde-Smith of Mississippi’s anti-LGBTQ record includes vocal opposition to same-sex commmitment ceremonies at the taxpayer-funded Mississippi Agriculture & Forestry Museum. Sen. Hyde-Smith has made racist remarks such as offering praise to a supporter, “If he invited me to a public hanging, I’d be on the front row.” Mississippi has a history of lynchings. Sen. Hyde-Smith was running against Mike Espy, who was campaigning to be the first Black man elected to the U.S. Senate from Mississippi.
  • Sen. Josh Hawley of Missouri signed a Supreme Court amicus brief defending a taxpayer-funded foster care agency’s right to discriminate against qualified same-sex couples. Rather than celebrate the rights of LGBTQ workers not to be discriminated against, Sen. Hawley argued that the landmark Bostock case extending civil rights protections to LGBTQ workers, “represents the end of the conservative legal movement.” Sen. Hawley, whose book deal was revoked after his moves to support insurrection, has frequently complained to be a victim of “cancel culture” including in appearances with anti-LGBTQ groups like Focus on the Family, and in media appearances with WGEM, KSDK, KTVO, KOAM, KMBC, KYTV, KRCG, KMOX, 41 Action News, KCMO radio, KWTO, the St. Joseph News Press, and Nexstar TV. The editorial board of the Kansas City Star says Sen. Hawley has “blood on his hands” by encouraging the coup attempt. The St. Louis Post-Dispatch editorial page says Sen. Hawley should resign, condemning his fist-pumping and cheering of rioters arriving on Capitol Hill and his tardy, self-serving condemnation of their resulting violence as “at the top of his substantial list of phony, smarmy and politically expedient declarations.”
  • Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas has led efforts to block marriage equality in his state, proposed a federal constitutional amendment against marriage equality, and criticized the landmark SCOTUS ruling granting it. Sen. Cruz backed accused child predator Roy Moore who called same sex marriage “worse than slavery.”
  • Sen. Cynthia Lummis of Wyoming has an anti-LGBTQ record that GLAAD has tracked for years, including voting against LGBTQ students and their families. Sen. Lummis has criticized the Supreme Court’s marriage equality decision, saying marriage "should be left to the states under the Constitution." Sen. Lummis represents the state where Matthew Shepard was heinously murdered for being gay. She voted against federal LGBTQ-inclusive hate crimes laws.

GLAAD also noted the anti-LGBTQ record of Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene as the House voted last week to remove her from committee assignments following her embrace of violent conspiracy theories and rhetoric against Congressional colleagues. Rep. Greene has also co-sponsored anti-transgender legislation and falsely claimed that critics want to eliminate gender roles and “destroy our country.”

GLAAD tracked the Trump administration’s more than 181 attacks against LGBTQ Americans in our Trump Accountability Project. The tally includes negative policies and rhetoric deployed by the Trump White House and its supporters in Congress.