LGBTQ Equality Caucus calls on Santos to step down

Republican candidate for New York's 3rd Congressional District George Santos campaigns outside a Stop and Shop store, Saturday, Nov. 5, 2022, in Glen Cove, N.Y.
Republican candidate for New York’s 3rd Congressional District George Santos campaigns outside a Stop and Shop store, Saturday, Nov. 5, 2022, in Glen Cove, N.Y.
AP Photo/Mary Altaffer

Queer members of Congress are calling on out Congressmember-Elect George Santos to step down in response to revelations that he repeatedly lied about his background during the time leading up to — and after — he won an open seat in New York’s Third Congressional District.

Santos, who beat another openly gay candidate, Robert Zimmerman, in the November general election, is engulfed in an evolving scandal that first emerged in December when a New York Times article highlighted inconsistencies in Santos’ background. All in all, Santos’ has lied about topics including his religion, his educational background, and his work history.

“When Representative-Elect Santos was first elected, we were hoping to find common ground that would allow us to work together to advance LGBTQ+ equality, despite our many differences,” the Congressional LGBTQ+ Equality Caucus, led by Chair David N. Cicilline, said in a written statement. “However, integrity and honesty are central to being a member of the House of Representatives and to properly represent your community — both one’s district and the LGBTQ+ community. Mr. Santos has demonstrated that he lacks these values.”

The statement also featured returning co-chairs of the caucus, including Representatives Mark Pocan of Wisconsin, Mark Takano of California, Angie Craig of Minnesota, Sharice Davids of Kansas, Chris Pappas of New Hampshire, and Ritchie Torres of the Bronx. Out Representatives-Elect Becca Balint of Vermont, Robert Garcia of California, and Eric Sorensen of Illinois also joined the statement.

Among other points, the Equality Caucus blasted Santos for claiming to lose four employees at the Pulse nightclub massacre and for claiming he was Jewish.

“Mr. Santos should step down immediately,” the caucus stated. “The LGBTQ+ community and the people of New York’s Third Congressional District deserve better.”

Torres has also gone a step further by announcing new legislation to bar candidates from lying about their employment record, educational background, or military history. Dubbed the Stop Another Non-Truthful Office Seeker (SANTOS) Act, the bill would require candidates to disclose such details under oath.