List of LGBT members of the United States Congress

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This is a list of gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender Americans in the U.S. Congress. There are currently 7 openly LGBT members of the 114th congress, all being Democrats.[1][2] This list only includes people who came out.


Photo Senator State Party Term Notes
Wofford Harris Wofford Pennsylvania Democratic 1991–1995 Came out in 2016 after announcing plans to marry a man[3]
Baldwin Tammy Baldwin Wisconsin Democratic 2013–present First openly gay or lesbian person to be elected to the Senate[4]

House of Representatives

Photo Representative State Party Term Notes
McKinney Stewart McKinney Connecticut Republican 1971-1987 Died (Complications due to AIDS)[5][6][7][8][9]
Bauman Robert Bauman Maryland Republican 1973–1981 Came out after his time in Congress[10]
Studds Gerry Studds Massachusetts Democratic 1973–1997 Came out in 1983 after congressional page scandal; first member of Congress to come out as gay; First openly gay committee chairman (Merchant Marine and Fisheries, 1990–1995)[11]
Hinson Jon Hinson Mississippi Republican 1979–1981 Came out after his time in Congress[12]
Frank Barney Frank Massachusetts Democratic 1981–2013 Came out in 1987; first LGBT member of Congress to be married while in office[13][14]
Gunderson Steve Gunderson Wisconsin Republican 1981-1997 Outed on the floor of the House in 1994, and became the first openly gay Republican representative.[15][16]
Kolbe Jim Kolbe Arizona Republican 1985-2007 Came out in 1996 after voting for the Defense of Marriage Act, and was the first openly gay person to address the Republican National Convention[17][18] He was the second openly gay Republican to serve in Congress.[19]
Huffington Michael Huffington California Republican 1993-1995 Came out as bisexual in 1998, the first bisexual to have been elected to Congress.[20]
Foley Mark Foley Florida Republican 1995-2006 Came out after congressional page incidents.[21]
Baldwin Tammy Baldwin Wisconsin Democratic 1999-2013 First 'out' lesbian to be elected to Congress[4]
Michaud Mike Michaud Maine Democratic 2003-2015 Came out in 2013.[22][23]
Polis Jared Polis Colorado Democratic 2009–present First gay parent in Congress[24]
Cicilline David Cicilline Rhode Island Democratic 2011–present
Maloney Sean Patrick Maloney New York Democratic 2013–present
Takano Mark Takano California Democratic 2013–present First 'out' non-white LGBT person to be elected to Congress[25][26]
Pocan Mark Pocan Wisconsin Democratic 2013–present
Sinema Kyrsten Sinema Arizona Democratic 2013–present First out bisexual to be elected to Congress[27][28]

See also


  1. Camia, Catalina (10 November 2014). "No gay Republicans elected to new Congress". USA Today Politics. Retrieved 7 May 2016. There will be seven gay or bisexual members in the 114th Congress, all Democrats: Sen. Tammy Baldwin of Wisconsin and House members Jared Polis of Colorado, David Cicilline of Rhode Island, Sean Patrick Maloney of New York, Mark Takano of California, Mark Pocan of Wisconsin and Kyrsten Sinema of Arizona. 
  2. Daileda, Colin (6 January 2015). "What's white and male and in the House?". Mashable. Retrieved 7 May 2016. Despite the mild gains in other areas of diversity, the 114th Congress will have just as many LGBT members as the year before—seven. 
  3. Wofford, Harris (23 April 2016). "Finding love again, this time with a man". The New York Times. Retrieved 7 May 2016. Too often, our society seeks to label people by pinning them on the wall - straight, gay or in between. I don't categorize myself based on the gender of those I love. I had a half-century of marriage with a wonderful woman, and now am lucky for a second time to have found happiness. 
  4. 4.0 4.1 "Tammy Baldwin: Openly gay lawmaker could make history in Wisconsin U.S. Senate race - Chicago Tribune". 2012-10-19. Retrieved 2012-11-07. 
  5. "AIDS Makes Another Chilling Advance, Claiming the Life of a Congressman". People magazine. New York, NY: TIME, Inc. May 25, 1987. Retrieved August 31, 2014. 
  6. Houston, Paul (May 8, 1987). "Connecticut's McKinney, GOP Liberal, Dies of AIDS". Los Angeles Times. Los Angeles, CA. Retrieved August 31, 2014. 
  7. Kimmey, Samantha (December 20, 2012). "Rep. Barney Frank Comments on Scalia, Prostitution, Marijuana and More". The Raw Story. Retrieved August 31, 2014. 
  8. Associated Press (August 23, 1989). "Congressman Killed by AIDS Led Secret Life, Gay Man Claims". Bangor Daily News. Bangor, ME. Retrieved August 31, 2014. 
  9. May, Clifford D. (May 9, 1987). "Friends Say McKinney Had Homosexual Sex". New York Times. Retrieved August 31, 2014. 
  10. Bauman, Robert (August 1986). The Gentleman from Maryland: The Conscience of a Gay Conservative. Arbor House Pub Co. ISBN 978-0877956860. 
  11. "Housecleaning". Time. July 25, 1983. 
  12. "Jon Hinson, 53, Congressman And Then Gay-Rights Advocate". The New York Times. 26 July 1995. Retrieved 7 May 2016. 
  13. O'Keefe, Ed (December 3, 2012). "When Barney Frank announced he was ‘coming out of the room’ (er… the closet)". The Washington Post. 
  14. "DC's Most Influential Gay Couple Calls It Quits". The Tuscaloosa News (Associated Press). July 3, 1998. Retrieved January 19, 2010. 
  15. Bergling, Tim (May 11, 2004). "Closeted in the capital: they're powerful, Republican, and gay. Will the marriage battle finally get them to come out to their bosses?". The Advocate. Retrieved August 27, 2009. 
  16. Bierbauer, Charles (28 November 1997). "Gunderson Leaves 'Increasingly Polarized' House". CNN AllPolitics. Retrieved 7 May 2016. 
  17. Dunlap, David W. (August 3, 1996). "A Republican Congressman Discloses He Is a Homosexual". The New York Times. Retrieved 2007-11-25. 
  18. Campbell, Julia (August 1, 2000). "Openly Gay Congressman Addresses Convention". ABC News. 
  19. Eaklor, Vicki Lynn (2008). Queer America: a GLBT history of the 20th century. ABC-CLIO. p. 213. ISBN 978-0-313-33749-9. 
  20. King, Ryan James. "Michael Huffington: The long-awaited Advocate interview". Advocate. Retrieved 11 January 2013. 
  21. "Foley lawyer makes statement". CNN. October 2, 2006. Retrieved 2006-10-04. 
  22. "Michaud: ‘I haven’t changed. I’m Mike.’". The Bangor Daily News. Retrieved 11 May 2015. 
  23. "Yes, I'm gay, Michaud says. Now let's get our state back on track". Portland Press Herald. November 4, 2013. 
  24. Parkinson, John. "House Democrat Jared Polis Becomes First Openly Gay Parent in Congress". ABC News. Retrieved 30 September 2011. 
  25. David Crary, AP National Writer. "Record number of gays seeking seats in Congress". San Francisco Chronicle. Retrieved October 3, 2012. 
  26. Candido, Sergio N. (October 29, 2012). "Top 5 Gay National Races". SFGN. Retrieved November 7, 2012. 
  27. O'Dowd, Peter (January 1, 2013). "Sinema, First Openly Bisexual Member Of Congress, Represents 'Changing Arizona'". NPR. Retrieved January 8, 2013. 
  28. Roig-Franzia, Manuel (January 2, 2013). "Kyrsten Sinema: A success story like nobody else's". The Washington Post. Phoenix, Arizona. Retrieved January 8, 2013.