Indiana Congressman Brad Ellsworth, a Democrat who’s been criticized for his positions on LGBT issues, will run for Sen. Evan Bayh’s seat, Washington Post blogger Chris Cillizza reported today.
Now in his second term, Ellsworth was part of the 2006 Democratic takeover of Congress that saw a number of swing districts go to moderate and conservative Democrats. His first term in Congress earned him a score of just 30 on the Human Rights Campaign’s Congressional Scorecard, among the lowest of the Democratic caucus.
Indiana LGBT activist and blogger Bil Browning, in a piece in The Huffington Post yesterday, explored Ellsworth’s stance on LGBT issues and recounted his own conversations with the Congressman about specific votes:
Rep. Ellsworth confirmed to me…that he would vote in favor of ENDA, the Employment Non-Discrimination Act, which would outlaw workplace discrimination against LGBT people. Ellsworth cited his record as Vanderburgh County sheriff, where he implemented a non-discrimination policy that included sexual orientation.
While he did eventually end up voting in favor of a version of ENDA that stripped out transgender people, he also voted in favor of a Republican-led attempt to kill the legislation before the final vote by sending it back to committee for further study. Ellsworth hasn’t co-sponsored the trans-inclusive version of ENDA currently sitting in committee and is one of only a few House Democrats not to publicly support the measure.
A member of the House Armed Services Committee, Ellsworth has also refused to state his position on repealing “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell.” The Representative isn’t co-sponsoring any other LGBT-positive legislation nor has he put out any statements indicating he would support any of the current pro-LGBT legislation awaiting action in the House.