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May 29, 2015

The longest-serving Republican Speaker in US history has been indicted by federal authorities

Former Speaker of the US House of Representatives Dennis Hastert allegedly agreed to pay a former male student he'd sexually abused with $3.5 million in apparent hush money, according to federal prosecutors.

Hastert, 73, was indicted this week for lying to federal officials about cash withdrawals from various banks which triggered suspicion.

The payments are not related to Hastert's years in congress but instead to his years as a high school wrestling coach from 1965 to 1981.

March 22, 2015

Frank also defended his jokes about Schock’s homoerotic Instagram feed which has been recently set to private: 'If [the rumours] are not true, he spent entirely too much time in the gym for a straight man'

Former member of the US House of Representatives Barney Frank, who came out publicly in 1987 and was the first member of Congress to do so voluntarily, has weighed in on the sudden resignation of Illinois Republican Representative Aaron Schock.

Frank said in an interview that if Schock is gay, he should be 'exposed' due to his anti-gay voting record.

March 17, 2015

'Constant questions over the last six weeks have proven a great distraction that has made it too difficult for me to serve'

Aaron Schock, a Republican congressman from Illinois, announced today that he is resigning from the US House of Representatives.

Schock has been embroiled in a string of controversies involving his spending on such things as private jets, mileage reimbursements and interior decorating. He also reportedly did not properly disclose that he was accompanied to India on an official trip by a male photographer and videographer.

February 11, 2015

A group of federal Democratic lawmakers have joined forces with Republican congresswoman Ileana Ros-Lehtinen to introduce a bill to protect LGBTI students from bullying and discrimination in public schools

Democratic members of the US House of Representatives Jared Polis and Robert C Scott have been joined by Republican congresswoman Ileana Ros-Lehtinen in co-sponsoring a bill to protect LGBTI students in public schools in a move the group will encourage bipartisan support for the effort.

The lawmakers introduced the Student Non-Discrimination Act (SNDA) on Tuesday which, if passed, will help protect public school students from bullying, harassment and discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender identity.

January 5, 2015

In 2014 October, the congressman said gay soldiers would not be prepared to fight because they require massages

An anti-gay congressman wants to be Speaker of the US House of Representatives.

Louis Gohmert, a representative from Texas since 2004, made his announcement on the Sunday News program Fox and Friends.

'I’m putting my name out there today to be another candidate for Speaker,' the Republican said, as reported by The Hill.

The present Speaker is John Boehner, a fellow Republican from Ohio.

December 16, 2014

She is among the 80 lawmakers demanding ban be replaced with a policy based on individual risk factors

A coalition of federal lawmakers called on the US government to end its lifetime ban on gay men donating blood.

The letter to the federal Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) was led by the first openly gay US senator - Tammy Baldwin of Wisconsin - as well as fellow Senate Democrats Tom Harkin of Iowa and Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts and Democratic members of the US House of Representatives Barbara Lee of California and Mike Quigley of Illinois.

November 6, 2014

American Idol alum had been followed for months by documentary crew

Clay Aiken had hoped his bid to represent his home state of North Carolina in the US House of Representatives would allow him to fully transition out of show business.

Instead, it has landed him back as the star of a reality series.

Aiken, 35, lost the election decisively to Republican incumbent Renee Ellmers this week. The openly-gay Democrat had faced an uphill battle from the start in the heavily-Republican 2nd District.

Viewers will get a close-up view of Aiken's journey from announcing his candidacy back in February to election day.

November 5, 2014

American Idol alum projected to lose in North Carolina to Republican incumbent Renee Ellmers

Clay Aiken has lost his bid for a North Carolina seat in the US House of Representatives.

A runner-up on both American Idol and Celebrity Apprentice, Aiken found himself finishing second once again - this time to Republican incumbent Renee Ellmers.

Ellmers was leading Aiken with more than 56 percent of the vote, according to the Associated Press.

July 22, 2014

Florida representative speaks out in favor of judge's ruling to allow same-sex marriages in the state's Monroe County

Republican David Jolly is quickly proving to be his own man.

Less than five months into his term as a freshman member of the US House of Representatives from Florida, Jolly has come out publicly in favor of same-sex member despite being a member of a political party that has steadfastly been opposed to it.

July 18, 2014

Will protect employees of federal contractors from discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender identity

US President Barack Obama has chosen Monday (21 July) as the day he will make good on his promise to sign an executive order to prohibit discrimination against LGBTI employees.

The order will apply to an estimated 28 million people - one-fifth of the US workforce - who work for federal contractors and the federal government.

July 9, 2014

ACLU, Lambda Legal and Transgender Law Center among the groups to say 'inclusion of this provision is no longer tenable'

The Employment Non-Discrimination Act has lost the support of several leading LGBTI legal groups on Tuesday (8 July) because religious groups would be exempt from the long-stalled legislation.

The American Civil Liberties Union; Gay & Lesbian Advocates & Defenders; Lambda Legal; National Center for Lesbian Rights; and Transgender Law Center issued a joint statement saying the current version of ENDA allows religious organizations to discriminate based on sexual orientation and gender identity.

July 1, 2014

Makes surprise announcement during White House Pride reception

At a White House reception celebrating LGBTI pride, US President Barack Obama surprised attendees when he announced plans to sign an executive order protecting all federal workers from gender identity discrimination.

This is in addition to the executive order he plans to sign to protect employees of federal contractors from anti-LGBTI discrimination.

Obama's action is taking place as the US House of Representatives continues to stall the Employment Non-Discrimination Act already passed by the US Senate.

May 28, 2014

Pennsylvania's Charlie Dent: 'In future generations the label same-sex marriage will be abandoned, to be replaced simply by marriage'

A sitting Republican member of the US House of Representatives publicly supporting gay marriage?

It has happened.

While the GOP remain officially against same-sex marriage, Pennsylvania Congressman Charlie Dent went on the record Wednesday (28 May) stating that he will no longer be toeing the party line on this issue.

May 7, 2014

Openly gay singer holds slight lead in Democratic primary in North Carolina

Clay Aiken has emerged with a slight lead over his closest rival in his bid for the Democratic nomination for a North Carolina seat in the US House of Representatives.

Aiken, 35, holds a slight lead of more than 300 votes over Keith Crisco but it might be some time before the final results are known.

Absentee and provisional ballots must still be counted and could potentially alter the outcome, according to the News Observer.

March 19, 2014

A large group of Congressional Democrats have asked US President Barack Obama to sign an executive order banning businesses who have contracts with the US Government from discriminating against LGBTI people

195 Democratic members of the US Congress have written to US President Barack Obama asking him to ban federal contractors from discriminating against people based on their sexual orientation or transgender status.

The group includes 47 senators and 148 members of the US House of Representatives and the initiative has been lead by Senator Jeff Merkley and Representative Jared Polis.

March 12, 2014

'The hate-mongers in America who have been repudiated here have found a place where they can bring their message'

Barney Frank, the first openly gay man to serve in the US House of Representatives, is blasting anti-gay Americans for spreading their message in Uganda.

'These people have been repudiated in America, they’re very unhappy,' Frank said in a radio interview this week.

'The American people have moved and are moving, every day toward the position that, if two people want to show attention to each other, two adults, that’s their business.'

June 9, 2013

Long Island Democrat Steve Israel has announced he will put forward legislation repealing the dishonorable discharges of gay and lesbian military personnel under the policy of Don’t Ask Don’t Tell and before homosexuality was legalized

Long Island Democratic member of the US House of Representatives Steve Israel has announced that he will move legislation that would see the repeal of dishonorable discharges of gays and lesbians who were drummed out of the military when their sexuality was revealed.

Military veterans are afforded a range of benefits in the US, however those are not available to personnel who have been dishonorably discharged and over 30,000 gay and lesbian veterans are believed to be excluded from receiving those benefits because their sexuality was discovered.

May 12, 2013

Husband of Democratic Congressman Mark Pocan, Philip Frank, has become the first ever same-sex spouse to receive a spousal ID for the US House of Representatives

The US House of Representatives has issued its first ever spousal ID to the same-sex partner of a member of Congress.

Democratic Representative Mark Pocan’s husband Philip Frank received the ID on April 26 after the House of Representatives Sergeant At Arms informed Pocan that his husband was now eligible to receive a spousal ID.

Previously Philip Frank had had to use a ‘designee’ ID which merely recognized him as a guest of Pocan’s in the House of Representatives.

May 4, 2013

2012 Republican vice-presidential candidate Paul Ryan has announced he is comfortable with the idea of gay people adopting children despite voting against it in the past and his opposition to same-sex marriage

2012 Republican vice-presidential candidate Paul Ryan has said that he would vote in favor of the rights of same-sex couples to adopt despite voting against that right in the past.

Ryan made the comments while speaking to a town hall style audience in Wisconsin on Monday where he was challenged by a member of the public about his anti-gay voting record in the US House of Representatives.

Ryan had voted against adoption by same-sex couples in the District of Columbia in 1999 but said his thinking had evolved since then.

January 3, 2013

Wisconsin Democrat has previously served in House of Representatives

Tammy Baldwin made history Thursday (3 January) by becoming the first openly gay person to be sworn into the US Senate.

Chuck Wolfe of the Gay and Lesbian Victory Fund hailed the moment as 'real progress – a victory for us all.'

'LGBT Americans have finally broken through a glass ceiling that held firm for more than two centuries,' Wolfe said in a statement. '... This is a moment to smile, celebrate and raise a glass to toast a record number of out federal lawmakers.'

December 27, 2012

New York Rep. Richard Hanna has become only the second sitting Republican in the US Congress to back the repeal of the federal Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) following comments that same-sex marriage was inevitable by failed Republican presidential race candidate Newt Gingrich

A second sitting House Republican has publicly broken ranks with the mainstream of his party on the issue of same-sex marriage, announcing that he will co-sponsor the Respect for Marriage Act which would repeal the Defense of Marriage Act that currently bans federal benefits from going to married same-sex couples in the US.

December 27, 2012

Charles Bass of New Hampshire wants Defense of Marriage Act repealed

Already defeated for reelection, US Congressman Charles Bass of New Hampshire became the third Republican in the US House of Representatives to break ranks with the party by supporting gay marriage.

Bass has agreed to co-sponsor the the Respect for Marriage Act which would repeal the Defense of Marriage Act that currently bans federal benefits from going to married same-sex couples in the US.

December 20, 2012

'The momentum is clearly now in the direction'

When he was campaigning for the Republican nomination for US president, Newt Gingrich took a hard line against same-sex marriage.

But now the former speaker of the US House of Representatives sees that marriage equality is gaining ground. After voters in three states made history by voting to legalize gay marriage last month, Gingrich thinks his party will have to find a way to adjust.

December 17, 2012

'I’m hoping to get paid well to do what I do now for nothing'

As Barney Frank's days as an elected official come to and, the first openly gay member of the US House of Representatives has hired an agent.

The outspoken Frank, 71, has been one of the more colorful personalities in Washington DC over the past three decades and a frequent guests on network and cable political shows.