Better Know An Anti-LGBT Senate Candidate: Rep. Connie Mack IV (R-FL)

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

Last month, fourth-term Rep. Connie Mack IV (R) won the Republican nomination to challenge incumbent Sen. Bill Nelson (D). The seat was previously held by Mack’s father, former Sen. Connie Mack III (R). Unlike Nelson, a strong supporter of LGBT equality, Mack has voted against the LGBT community at every opportunity.

Over his eight years in the House of Representatives and this Senate campaign:

1. Mack sent out a homophobic campaign press release attacking a primary opponent. A May campaign press release touted a “Social Conservatives for Mack Coalition” including several leaders of the 2008 Florida anti-gay marriage amendment proponents’ group. The text slammed Mack’s then-primary opponent for allegedly being “an early and vocal supporter of the gay agenda.”


2. Mack voted against marriage equality and even domestic partnership benefits for same-sex couples. In 2006, he voted for a constitutional amendment requiring “marriage in the United States shall consist only of the union of a man and a woman.” In 2011, he backed an amendment reaffirming the unconstitutional Defense of Marriage Act. He also voted for a 2007 amendment restricting the District of Columbia government from using any federal funding to provide domestic partnership benefits.

3. Mack voted against Hate Crimes protections for LGBT Americans. In both 2007 and 2009, he voted against adding sexual orientation and gender identity to the federal hate crimes laws.

4. Mack thinks it should be legal to fire someone just for being gay. He voted against the Employment Non-Discrimination Act in 2007, which would have banned employment discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation.

5. Mack opposed letting LGBT servicemembers serve openly. He voted against Don’t Ask Don’t Tell repeal twice in 2010.

6. Mack’s been a virtual zero on LGBT equality. Unlike his wife Rep. Mary Bono Mack (R-CA), who has a fairly solid pro-equality voting record and has been vocally supportive of her transgender stepson Chaz Bono, he has done almost nothing for LGBT equality. Over the past three Congresses, his Human Rights Campaign ratings have been just 10, zero, and zero. The 10 score for the 111th Congress came for a 2009 procedural vote during consideration of the hate crimes bill.

Though Mack has consistently voted against LGBT equality, he has largely avoided talking about LGBT issues. Despite this, he ironically claims in a recent campaign ad that “freedom is the core of all human progress” and that “America is the land of freedom.”

Watch the ad:

With his quiet but unwavering opposition to LGBT equality, Mack’s election to the U.S. Senate would be a huge threat to LGBT people and families.