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More than 1 in 4 staffers in these senators' offices are LGBTQ

Senate Democrats released a staff diversity report Thursday showing the racial, ethnic and gender diversity of their offices.
DC March For Queer And Trans Youth Autonomy
A demonstrator waves a Pride flag at a rally near the Capitol on March 31.Bryan Olin Dozier / NurPhoto via AP

More than 1 in 4 staffers identify as LGBTQ in the offices of at least eight U.S. senators, according to a diversity report released Thursday by Senate Democrats.

The diversity snapshot was taken on June 30 to get a sense of the racial, ethnic and gender diversity in the offices of the 48 Democratic senators and the three independent senators that caucus with the Democrats.

The senators with the highest percentage of queer staffers are Pennsylvania Democrats Bob Casey (30%) and John Fetterman (28%) ,and Patty Murray of Washington (29%). Following closely behind, at 26%, are Sen. Catherine Cortez Masto, D-N.V.; Sen. Gary Peters, D-Mich.; Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt.; Sen. Tina Smith, D-Minn.; and Sen. Ron Wyden, D-Ore.

After the report's release, Fetterman tweeted out a "White Lotus"-inspired meme in response.

"These gays, they're trying to run my senate office," the meme reads, along with an image of actor Jennifer Coolidge, who starred in the namesake hit HBO series and whose character famously said, "These gays, they're trying to murder me!"

The Senate's only two openly LGBTQ senators, Sen. Tammy Baldwin, D-Wis., and Sen. Kyrsten Sinema, I-Ariz., have LGBTQ staffer percentages of 23% and 19%, respectively.

The percentage of Americans who identify as LGBTQ rose to an all-time high of 7.2% last year, according to a Gallup Poll. However, only six of the 51 senators listed in the report had LGBTQ staffers that represented 7% or less of their staff. Joe Manchin, Democrat of West Virginia, came in at the lowest: 0%.

A representative for Manchin’s office did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Senate Republicans have not released a comparable breakdown of their offices’ diversity.

CORRECTION (July 14, 2023, 12 p.m. ET): A previous version of this article misstated which state Sen. Ron Wyden represents. He represents Oregon, not Wyoming.