Senate Dems Want You To Know How Gay Their Offices Are

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Laurel Duggan Social Issues and Culture Reporter
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Senate Democrats recently released survey data revealing the proportion of staffers in each senator’s office who identify as LGBT or with various racial and ethnic groups.

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer released the data, collected June 30, which also shows the breakdown of committee offices by LGBT status, gender and racial and ethnic identity. The Senate Democratic Diversity Initiative, which has been collecting the data since 2017, encourages Democratic offices to consider at least one minority candidate when interviewing for an open position.

The Senate Democratic Diversity Initiative, formed in 2007 under then-Majority Leader Harry Reid, promotes diversity in the staff of Senate Democrats by managing a resume bank of candidates and offering a variety of professional development opportunities for current and aspiring staff members, according to its website. (RELATED: Dems Attempt To Ram Through New Constitutional Amendment With Creative Legal Maneuver)

WASHINGTON, DC - JUNE 01: Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WV) (L) talks with reporters in between votes at the U.S. Capitol on June 01, 2023 in Washington, DC. The Senate has taken up legislation to raise the debt limit and avoid a default that was negotiated between House Republicans and the White House. (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

WASHINGTON, DC – JUNE 01: Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WV) (L) talks with reporters in between votes at the U.S. Capitol on June 01, 2023 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

Democratic Pennsylvania Sen. Bob Casey had the highest proportion of LGBT-identified staff at 30%, trailed closely by Washington Sen. Patty Murray at 29% and Pennsylvania Sen. John Fetterman at 28%, according to the survey. Sens. Catherine Cortez Masto, Gary Peters, Bernie Sanders, Tina Smith and Ron Wyden each had 26% LGBT-identified staff.

No one on West Virginia Sen. Joe Manchin’s staff identified as LGBT in the survey. Other Democratic offices with low proportions of LGBT staff include Sens. John Warner and John Ossoff at 4% and Sens. Richard Blumenthal and Deborah Stabenow at 6%.

Among committees, the Committee on Environment and Public Works had the highest proportion of LGBT staffers at 28%, while the Rules Committee had 0%.

The survey also collected gender data, and at least one staffer in thirteen Senators’ offices selected a gender besides male or female. Most Democratic senators’ offices were majority female; 40 were more than 50% female while seven were more than 50% male.

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