Temporary House Speaker Rep. Patrick McHenry has long anti-LGBTQ+ record

Acting House Speaker, Rep. Patrick McHenry (R-NC)
Acting House Speaker, Rep. Patrick McHenry (R-NC) Photo: Fox Business screenshot

Rep. Patrick McHenry (R-NC) was been named acting House Speaker on Tuesday evening after eight Republican House members and the entire Democratic House caucus voted to remove Rep. Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) from the position.

McCarthy’s legislative record made his anti-LGBTQ+ politics perfectly clear: He opposes same-sex marriage, transgender children participating in school sports, discrimination protections, and queer-inclusive school policies. But McHenry holds many anti-queer positions of his own, largely following in lockstep behind his party’s prejudicial platform.

In 2023, McHenry voted in favor of a bill that would ban transgender women and girls from playing on school sports teams matching their gender identity. In 2022, he voted against the Respect for Marriage Act, a bill that required federal and state governments to recognize same-sex marriages that occurred in states that legalized same-sex marriage.

In 2016, he voted against a law that would’ve banned federal contractors from employment discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity.

In 2013, he co-sponsored the Marriage and Religious Freedom Act, a bill that would prohibit the federal government from taking any actions against a person for acts in accordance with a religious belief that marriage and sexual relationships are or should be within the union of one man and one woman.

In 2010, he voted against the Matthew Shepard and James Byrd, Jr. Hate Crimes Prevention Act, a law that offered enhanced penalties for those who commit hate crimes based on someone’s race or sexual orientation. In 2010, he voted against the repeal of the anti-gay military ban known as “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell.”

In 2007, he voted against the Employment Non-Discrimination Act, a bill that would have forbidden employers to discriminate against individuals on the basis of actual or perceived sexual orientation.

In 2006, he voted in favor of a U.S. Constitutional amendment to define marriage as being between a man and a woman. This should have been no surprise as his 2004 website stated that he “is a strong defender of the traditional Judeo-Christian values this country was founded on.”

“Marriage, family, and community are not just catchphrases; they are the backbone of American society,” his website stated. “Sadly, however, there is an organized effort by the radical left and their allies in Hollywood and academia to destroy our traditional American culture. McHenry stands in full support of (then-President George W.) Bush in his effort to protect the most sacred institution in our civilization.”

In 2008, the Family Research Council and Focus on the Family — two anti-LGBTQ+ groups — called McHenry a “True Blue” member of Congress, noting “his unwavering commitment to family values,” The Advocate noted.

McHenry has served in Congress since 2005. He served as chief deputy whip from 2014 to 2019 and became the top Republican on the House Financial Services Committee in 2019, according to The Hill. While he is only expected to serve as House Speaker until Republicans vote on a new replacement, infighting among Republican House members could leave McHenry as the temporary speaker for a long time.

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