Both men are known for their conservative views and Republican-lite political decisions. They’ve both been a pain in the neck for Democratic leaders.
Lipinksi was the only Democrat to co-sponsor the “First Amendment Defense Act.” The measure would have allowed discrimination against LGBTQ people specifically. He also voted against previous bills that would have prevented discrimination and opposes marriage equality. He has the worst record on LGBTQ rights of all current members of the House and Senate.
While many progressive advocacy groups for different issues worked together to recruit and support a primary challenger, he won the first round and cruised to victory in the general election because his Republican opponent was a self-described Nazi. Even fellow Illinois Democratic Congresswoman Jan Schakowsky endorsed his primary opponent.
Manchin isn’t exactly a stalwart supporter of equality either. He refused to sign on to previous bills meant to protect the LGBTQ community. While Democrats came out of the woodwork to celebrate the Supreme Court’s decision to legalize same-sex marriages nationwide, the Senator put out a one sentence statement saying Americans had to follow the law.
“I think we can see very directly the need for the Equality Act in West Virginia after this legislative session,” Joseph Cohen, executive director of the West Virginia chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union, said.
“There’s one House Democrat — one in the whole country — who doesn’t support this civil rights legislation: Dan Lipinski,” the Illinois Congressman’s former primary challenger, Marie Newman, said. “Once again, he’s bucking the Democratic Party to stand against equality, something he’s done consistently throughout his 14 years in Congress.”