PoliticsPA reports that the the “Equality Caucus” of state legislators added three Republican members this week—the first from the GOP—doubling the size of the caucus since it originated last year:
“Any member of the General Assembly who is reluctant to vote in support of LGBT civil rights should look at the more than doubling in size of the LGBT Equality Caucus from last session coupled with our overwhelmingly positive poll numbers for reassurance that their colleagues are there and the public is with them,” said Ted Martin, executive director of advocacy group Equality Pa. “Pennsylvania is the worst state in the northeast when it comes to how we treat our LGBT citizens, and now is clearly the time to trade in that sad title.”
The 58 member caucus includes 35 state Representatives and 13 state Senators. Among them are three Republicans: Rep. Mike Fleck (R-Huntingdon), who came out in December as Pa.’s first openly gay lawmaker; Rep. Tom Murt (R-Montgomery) and Rep. Chris Ross (R-Chester). Murt and Ross each is married and has children.
The caucus formed for the previous legislative session and had just 26 members – and no Republicans.
The caucus is composed of General Assembly members who pledge to “work toward the extension of equal rights, the repeal of discriminatory laws, the elimination of hate-motivated violence, and the improved health and well-being for all regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity/expression.”