Better Know An Anti-LGBT Senate Candidate: Rep. Todd Akin (R-MO)

Rep. Todd Akin (R-MO)

Rep. Todd Akin (R-MO)

First in a series examining how anti-LGBT Senate candidates have worked to hurt the cause of equality.

With his primary win this week, sixth-term Rep. Todd Akin (R-MO) will be the Republican nominee against incumbent Sen. Claire McCaskill (D). Unlike the incumbent, who has had a solid record in support of equality, Akin has amassed one of the most anti-LGBT voting records of any member of Congress.

Over 12 years in Congress:

1. Akin actively pushed anti-LGBT measures. He co-sponsored at least five anti-equality measures in the current Congress — one of just seven Representatives to sign onto that many — including a constitutional amendment against marriage equality, a bill to ban the use of military facilities for any same-sex unions, and a resolution directing the Speaker of the House to defend the unconstitutional Defense of Marriage Act in court.

2. Akin spearheaded efforts against allowing same-sex unions at military chapels. He boasted that he “led the effort to fight back against gay marriage on military bases” (May 2012 press release).

3. Akin adamantly opposed allowing LGBT armed services members to serve openly. He called Don’t Ask Don’t Tell repeal “an eclipse of reason” and “the imposition of somebody’s social agenda that they want to impose on the military.”

4. Akin has been a consistent zero on LGBT rights. He earned a zero rating from the Human Rights Campaign, voting against LGBT equality 100 percent of the time, in each of his terms in Congress.

5. Akin has claimed marriage equality will destroy traditional families. He criticized President Obama’s endorsement of marriage equality as an “unquenchable desire to tear down the traditional family unit brick by brick” (May 2012 press release).

6. Akin has suggested that not being terrorized based on sexual orientation or gender identity is a “special privilege.” He strongly opposed adding sexual orientation to federal Hate Crimes laws, arguing that it would “increase hatred in America” and give a “special privilege” to bias-crime victims (April 2009 floor speech).

7. Akin has not even practiced non-discrimination personally. He refused to even adopt a non-discrimination policy against LGBT discrimination for employees in his own Congressional office.

8. Akin has proudly promoted his anti-LGBT backers. His campaign website prominently highlights the endorsements of two of the nation’s most notorious anti-gay extremists — Eagle Forum founder Phyllis Schafly and Fox News Channel host and Chick-fil-A appreciator former Gov. Mike Huckabee (R-AR). Huckabee also appeared in a TV ad backing Akin in the primary.

9. Akin has said marriages are only about procreation. He argued on the House floor that marriage is only “about a love that can bear children,” and warned that “anybody who knows something about the history of the human race knows that there is no civilization which has condoned homosexual marriage widely and openly that has long survived” (2006 speech in favor of the proposed Marriage Protection Amendment).

Watch Akin’s 2006 speech here:

Akin’s record is not just one of opposing LGBT rights, but one of actively seeking to take them away. His election to the U.S. Senate would be a huge threat to LGBT people and families.