Ike Skelton may be a leading Democrat, but he's out of line with the party's platform of LGBT equality. You may remember that he recently suggested that no one in his district cares about LGBT people. He never apologized for his homophobic comments, and he's still on our list!
Rep. Skelton has a mixed record on LGBT legislation, but he has mostly made his intentions clear. While he voted for Hate Crimes legislation in 2009, he voted against ENDA in 2007 and against "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" earlier this year. His vote on ENDA is unknown, but we believe that he needs to be pushed hard to do the right thing if the legislation come up for a vote this year.
There are other states in which GetEQUAL is targeting Republicans, specifically those who serve heavily LGBT constituencies, yet continue to vote against LGBT equality. In Missouri, however, Democrats who vote against LGBT equality AND who vote against their own party's platform must be held accountable. Since the Democratic party continues to fund these lawmakers, it is up to us to let them know that voting against us is not OK.
We have also been in conversation with other national and regional LGBT organizations, individual activists, and the folks at Act On Principles who run a public whip count on LGBT legislation (link here). Based on that feedback and on legislators' voting records, we have chosen the above targets.
Of course, whip counts and inside intelligence can always be wrong -- so please stay in touch with your state organizer and with us to keep us posted as you (hopefully) move legislators forward on ENDA.