CHARLOTTE, N.C. — U.S. Rep. Tammy Baldwin (D-Wisc.), one of only four openly-LGBT members of Congress, took the podium at the Democratic National Convention in Charlotte, N.C. on Thursday, in a a prime-time opportunity to introduce herself to the nation.
Baldwin, 50, a seven-term congresswoman from Madison, Wisc., is currently seeking to fill the U.S. Senate seat being vacated by Sen. Herb Kohl (D), and if elected, would become the first openly-LGBT member of the U.S. Senate.
“I know you’ve heard a lot about Wisconsin lately,” Baldwin said, singling out Gov. Scott Walker, vice presidential candidate Paul Ryan and former Gov. Tommy Thompson, her Senate campaign opponent. “Well, I’m here to tell you that they don’t speak for all of Wisconsin.”
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Her full remarks are here:
Baldwin, who in 1998 was the first openly gay candidate to be elected to the U.S. House of Representatives, applauded President Barack Obama’s efforts to end discrimination, and took the opportunity to recognize s progress on LGBT equality, and contrast between GOP nominee Mitt Romney and the Republican’s anti-gay platform.
“Our president has made historic progress toward equality. He repealed “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” so that no American ever again has to lie about who they are in order to serve the country we love. Republicans want to write discrimination into our Constitution. But the Wisconsin I know believes that with each passing year and each generation, our country must become more equal, not less,” she said.
The latest Marquette Law School Poll, conducted Aug. 16-19, shows Baldwin trailing former Wisconsin Gov. Tommy Thompson by 9 percentage points.