While the battle over marriage equality has earned a lot of attention, Tuesday night was also an historic night for LGBT political candidates and those who support LGBT rights.
Over the next few pages you will find five of those victories and details on why they are so important.
1) Tammy Baldwin Becomes the First Out LGBT Senator
Democrat Tammy Baldwin of Wisconsin made history on Tuesday night when she was elected to the US Senate, becoming the first openly lesbian, and first openly LGBT, member of the upper chamber.
Despite opponents attempting to smear her as a “radical lesbian” and her Republican rival Tommy Thompson aping his favorite talking point, “Tammy Baldwin is so liberal that even Nancy Pelosi has to turn left to talk to her,” Baldwin managed to secure a narrow victory over her rival.
Baldwin campaigned heavily on fiscal responsibility, job creation and health care. During her time as a Representative she has backed the Buffet rule and, among a number of other initiatives, called for higher tariffs on Chinese imports so as to promote American manufacturing. She also campaigned heavily for the Affordable Care Act and also supported improvements to veteran healthcare.
Baldwin has also championed LGBT rights legislation like the Respect for Marriage Act and the DADT repeal.
Bladwin did acknowledge in her acceptance speech the wider election victory for women and the LGBT community that her becoming a US Senator represents, but she pledged that she would be a senator for everyone:
Now, I’m well aware that I will have the honor to be the first woman Senator from Wisconsin. And I’m well aware that I will be the first openly gay member of the United States Senate.
I didn’t run to make history. I ran to make a difference — a difference in the lives of families struggling to find work and pay the bills, a difference in the lives of students worried about debt and seniors worried about their retirement security, a difference in the lives veterans who fought for us and need someone fighting for them and their families when they return home from war, a difference in the lives of entrepreneurs trying to build a business and working people trying to build some economic security.
Here’s the promise I want to make to you: I will be a Senator for all of Wisconsin.
You can read Tammy Baldwin’s full remarks here.
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