LGBT Gains in Congress

The current Congress has a record four openly gay or lesbian House members, all of them Democrats, but that tally will grow next year.

With the retirement of veteran Massachusetts lawmaker Barney Frank and the decision by Wisconsin’s Tammy Baldwin to seek that state’s open Senate seat, only Rhode Island’s David Cicilline and Colorado’s Jared Polis stood for reelection.

Both of those incumbents won, and Baldwin becomes the first out LGBT senator.

In addition, LGBT Democratic congressional candidates scored victories in New York, where Sean Patrick Maloney defeated freshman Representative Nan Hayworth; in Wisconsin, where State Representative Mark Pocan won the seat Baldwin gave up; and in California, where Mark Takano, a schoolteacher, won a bid for an open seat. In Arizona, openly bisexual State Senator Kyrsten Sinema holds a narrow lead in a new district created since the 2010 census.

In Massachusetts, Republican Richard Tisei, a former state senator who was the GOP’s 2010 candidate for lieutenant governor, lost his race against Democrat John Tierney, an eight-term incumbent.

The Senate will have its first out lesbian or gay member; the House will have either five or six LGBT congressmembers.| MICHAEL SHIREY