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The Boston Globe

Politics

Bay State congressional delegation, with one key exception, gets high marks on promoting gay rights

WASHINGTON -- The Human Rights Campaign, an advocacy group for gay rights, issued its annual score card this week, with all but two of the Bay State’s congressional delegation getting perfect scores.

Senator Scott Brown, the lone Republican in the delegation, got the worst rating of the bunch -- 55 out of 100, which nevertheless was higher than the 33 he got the year before.

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Representative Steven Lynch was the only Bay State Democrat who did not get a perfect score. He was scored a 90, based on 10 House votes the group considered benchmarks in promoting gay rights.

Senators were judged on eight pieces of legislation, including a repeal of the Defense of Marriage Act, which defines marriage as between a man and woman. Brown opposed the repeal.

But Brown voted to extend protections to the LGBT community under the Violence Against Women Act, as well as joining Democrats in confirming the nomination of J. Paul Oetken, who became the first openly gay man to be named a US district judge.

Lynch was dinged for not supporting two pieces of legislation. One proposal sought to bestow the same immigration benefits to gay immigrants as those enjoyed by heterosexuals. Another measure would have extended spousal health care and other benefits to federal civilian employees.

Senator John Kerry got a perfect score, as did Representative Barney Frank, who is gay.

The group said it issued the report card as a resource to shine light on where elected officials stand. “With that knowledge, we can move forward to a future where the dark walls of discrimination fall and every American is guaranteed their full and equal citizenship,” the report stated.

Bobby Caina Calvan can be reached at bobby.calvan@globe.com. Follow him on twitter @GlobeCalvan.
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