With the midterm elections in the US scheduled for November 8 the members of the LGBTQ communities are grappling with two contrasting realities. 

In spite of the record number of candidates from the community, according to a CNN report, in the same year, US has also seen the highest number of legislation being introduced in 2022 (till June 1), that targeted the LGBTQ community.

The report was prepared by CNN in collaboration with the American Union of Civil Liberties. It was found in the analysis that a total of 162 bills were introduced by lawmakers across the US in 2022 alone that sought to target the LGBTQ community. 

Also read: US midterms: 5 prominent LGBTQ contestants to look out for

On the other side of this dark reality lies the fact that a record number of LGBTQ politicians are contesting for Congress in 2022. 

The LGBTQ Victory Fund, a political action committee that aims to increase LGBTQ representation in Congress, has shared numbers on politicians from the LGBTQ community who have run for office or are already running. 

“At least 101 people ran or are running for the U.S. Senate or U.S. House – with 96 still actively running as of February 21, 2022. That marks a 16.1 percent increase in LGBTQ Congressional candidates compared to the 2020 election cycle, when 87 people ran,” the website of the fund says. 

Although Democrats have been relatively open to LGBTQ candidates – five already serving in the Senate now, the Republicans are yet to elect one. 

In fact, the CNN-ACLU report, which tracked bills that were introduced targeting the LGBTQ community across 35 states in the US, found that a majority – 27 of them, were Republicans. The bills, the report claimed, targeted the LGBTQ community over issues like restrictions on athletics, curriculum, adolescent healthcare, and religious or first amendment exemptions. 

Also read: US midterms: 2 openly gay candidates in race for New York’s 3rd district

Some Republican politicians, such as South Dakota governor Kristi Noem, published an ad that premiered on prime-time television on January 13, 2022 with the title “In South Dakota, only girls play girls’ sports.” The video was criticized for its conservative attitude towards gender roles. 

Watch the ad here:

But now, the Republicans are set to alter the record with George Santos – an openly gay Republican, running against Robert Zimmerman, who is also openly gay. The contest is set to take place in New York’s third district during the upcoming midterms.

Speaking to NBC, Donald Haider-Markel, the author of the book Out and Running: Gay and Lesbian Candidates and professor of political science at the University of Kansas, said, “The question was always finding an LGBTQ Republican who can get support in a primary.” 

“It was going to happen sooner or later,” he added.