Tammy Baldwin Hub




Tammy Baldwin to Boehner on ENDA: 'Just Bring It Up for a Vote' — VIDEO

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Senator Tammy Baldwin (D-WI) appeared on Andrea Mitchell Reports yesterday prior to the successful vote to pass the Employment Non-Discrimination Act. Baldwin spoke about the bill's chances in the House and what she would tell House Speaker John Boehner, who opposes the legislation.

Baldwin also spoke about what the legislation means to her personally, as the first openly gay Senator.

Watch, AFTER THE JUMP...

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Tammy Baldwin, 84 Dem Lawmakers Urge End to Gay Blood Donation Ban in Letter to HHS Sec'y Kathleen Sebelius

Senator Tammy Baldwin is leading an effort by Democratic lawmakers to end the U.S. ban on gay men donating blood, Gannett reports:

BaldwinShe sent a letter signed by 84 other Democratic lawmakers Friday to Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius expressing concern that the ban “continues to perpetuate inaccurate stereotypes against gay and bisexual men and fosters an atmosphere that promotes discrimination.”

Baldwin, who is the first openly gay U.S. senator, and her colleagues are urging that blood donors be selected based on health factors and not sexual orientation.

“Our current policies turn away healthy, willing donors, even when we face serious blood shortages,” they wrote.

The current policy, which prohibits blood donation by any man who has had sex with another man since 1977, was put under review by HHS in March 2012, but there has been little movement since.

Gannett adds:

It’s unclear how the study is progressing or when it will be finished. An HHS spokeswoman said only that the study is “not yet complete” and that “HHS is committed to continuously improving the safety and availability of the nation’s blood supply” and “is in the process of conducting additional studies to help inform our policy discussions.”


A New Day Dawns In Congress, Though Not Bright Enough

CongressnewdayWith the new Congress settling in, Jeremy Peters of the New York Times today discusses how gay and lesbian lawmakers are slowly emerging from the shadows, an illustration of society's own evolution. But things are far from perfect.

Congress has never been an accurate reflection of the country it serves. It remains far whiter, wealthier and more male than the nation’s population. But as their numbers in Congress gradually increase, there is a sense among these newcomers that they are forcing some of their colleagues to rethink gay rights and homosexuality.

The presence of openly gay men and women and their families was a factor that many believe was decisive in turning the tide for states where same-sex marriage was legalized by legislatures. Seeing them helped put a human face on a concept that many legislators had thought about only in the abstract.

Yet even with the opportunities gay men, lesbians and bisexuals say their membership in Congress presents, their reception has not been a completely warm one. One of the first acts of the Republican-controlled House was to set aside funds to defend the 1996 law that prohibits the recognition of same-sex marriages because the Obama administration has stopped supporting it. And not everyone seems completely comfortable with their presence, like members of a Christian prayer group who seemed taken aback at a recent Congressional retreat when one noted he was married to a man. But in some ways the most telling sign of the gay lawmakers' advancement in Congress is the fact that their presence is now a little more routine.

The fact of the matter, though, is that gay and lesbian lawmakers are still a little over 1 percent of Congress, and the bulk of the GOP-controlled House remain obstinate on equality. Only 184 members have come out for LGBT rights, according to HRC; 220, a majority, are opposed.

Openly Gay, and Openly Welcomed in Congress [nyt]


Senator Tammy Baldwin on Hagel: 'I Want to See If His Apology is Sincere and Sufficient' - VIDEO

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Senator Tammy Baldwin (D-WI) appeared on Andrea Mitchell Reports today to speak about the Chuck Hagel nomination as Defense Secretary and the pushback it has received from some LGBT rights advocates.

Said Baldwin:

“I do not know Chuck Hagel...I do want to speak with him, particularly about his comments 14 years ago, to see if his apology is sincere and sufficient. I want to hear how he’s evolved on this issue in the the last 14 years because the significance to the post to which he's been nominated is the respect for now openly gay members of the military who because of the repeal of Don't Ask, Don't Tell can serve openly and we need to see that implemented successfully..."

Mitchell also asks Baldwin if she has any concerns about how Obama's cabinet is shaping up given that he has thus far assembled a white male team of top foreign policy advisers.

Watch, AFTER THE JUMP...

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Tammy Baldwin Sworn In, is First Out Gay U.S. Senator: VIDEO

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The U.S. has its first openly gay Senator, Tammy Baldwin from Wisconsin.

Watch, AFTER THE JUMP...

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150 Game Changing Wins that Made 2012 the Gayest Year Ever

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A remarkably short four decades ago, the Stonewall Revolt of 1969 opened the flood gates for LGBT rights. The closet, so sturdy for so long, started being swept away in a rush of pride. Still, LGBT Americans lived in a culture of "tolerance," a popular euphemism for enduring.

There have been momentous years since then — both Barney Frank's 1987 coming out and the 2003 Supreme Court ruling overturning anti-sodomy laws come to mind — but when we look back in twenty years time or ten or even five, 2012 will be remembered as quantum leap for LGBT rights in the United States of America. It's the year that equality went from being a far-off dream to becoming an inevitable, immutable and irreversible reality. Even Newt Gingrich agrees!

This was the year of equality, the year the American dream came into sharper focus and the nation crossed from begrudgingly tolerating gays, and sometimes even acknowledging their relationships, to demanding our inclusion in the greater American family. Coming out is for the large part no longer a big deal, which is a big deal in and of itself.

There have never been as many out and proud elected officials; never before has Wall Street embraced us with such force; never before have so many conservatives admitted they need to shift gears on marriage equality and embrace change. This was a year of "never before" and "never again."

AFTER THE JUMP, 150 reasons why 2012 was a year of permanence for LGBT Americans, a year that the next wave of rights began its swoop across the purple mountain majesty and above the fruited plain.

And for more of our 2012 Year in Review, be sure to read "I'm Gay: 50 Most Powerful Comings Outs of 2012" HERE.

Continue reading "150 Game Changing Wins that Made 2012 the Gayest Year Ever" »


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