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Fairness and Equalityissues-equality

Tammy Baldwin in cafeIn 1998 Tammy Baldwin became the first woman in Wisconsin’s history to be elected to the U.S. House of Representatives, as well as the first openly gay non incumbent elected to Congress in American history. When elected to the U.S. Senate she will be Wisconsin’s first woman senator and the first openly gay person to serve in the Senate.

Wisconsin has a long history of LGBT equality, and in 1982 became the first state in the country to adopt a comprehensive bill to prohibit discrimination based on sexual orientation.

Tammy believes fairness, equality and opportunity are at the core of who we are as a state and nation. That is why she has fought to build a stronger America where everybody has a seat at the table.

In Congress Baldwin has played a leading role on advancing equality. She is a founding member of the LGBT Equality Caucus, which now has 103 members, and she has been a leading advocate on the issue of bullying and suicide among LGBT youth.

With Tammy’s strong support and after years of work by a bipartisan group of Representatives and Senators, the Matthew Shepherd and James Byrd Hate Crimes Act became law in 2007. This law extends federal hate crimes law to include attacks on victims based on their actual or perceived sexual orientation or gender identity.

In 2009, Tammy introduced the Respect for Marriage Act in order to uphold the principle that the federal government should not deny gay and lesbian couples the same rights and legal protections as straight couples, repealing DOMA.

For too long, hospital visitation rights have been arbitrarily denied many individuals, most especially to gay and lesbian Americans. That’s why Tammy supported President Obama’s 2011 decision to direct the Secretary of Health and Human Services to take steps to ensure that hospitals participating in Medicare or Medicaid respect the rights of patients to receive visitors and designate others to make decisions about medical care in the case of an emergency.

Tammy was also a lead sponsor of the 2010 repeal of the discriminatory law known as Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell,” so that no American ever again has to lie about who they are in order to serve the country we love. She is also a sponsor of the Employee Non Discrimination Act and believes that our anti-discrimination employment laws should be expanded to include sexual orientation and gender identity.

Tammy supports a comprehensive and inclusive reauthorization of the Violence Against Women Act to protect all victims of domestic violence, including college students, native Americans, immigrants, and LGBT individuals.

Tammy knows that American history moves in one direction: Forward.

Unfortunately, Tammy’s opponent wants to turn back the clock and write discrimination into our Constitution. But the Wisconsin Tammy knows believes that with each passing year and each generation, our country must become more equal – not less.