Sunday, February 11, 2018

Happy Birthday to First Out U.S. Senator, Tammy Baldwin

(Photo from Politico)
Tammy Baldwin was born today, February 11, in 1962. She is a politician serving as the junior United States Senator from Wisconsin since 2013. She is the first woman elected to represent Wisconsin in the U.S. Congress and the first openly gay U.S. Senator in history.

A member of the Democratic Party, she previously served as the U.S. Representative from Wisconsin's 2nd congressional district from 1999 to 2013, as well as serving three terms in the Wisconsin Assembly representing the 78th district. Baldwin defeated her Republican opponent, former Wisconsin governor Tommy Thompson, in the 2012 U.S. Senate election. 

Baldwin was born and grew up in Madison, Wisconsin. She was raised by her mother and her maternal grandparents. Baldwin is a third cousin of comedian Andy Samberg.

Baldwin was first elected to political office in 1986 at the age of 24 when she was elected to the Dane County Board of Supervisors, a position she held until 1994. She also served one year on the Madison City Council to fill a vacancy in the coterminous district.

Baldwin was the first openly lesbian member of the Wisconsin Assembly and one of a very few openly gay politicians in the country at the time. In 1993, Baldwin said she was disappointed by Democratic President Bill Clinton's compromise on LGBT rights in supporting the military's don't ask, don't tell policy. In early 1994, she proposed legalizing same-sex marriage in Wisconsin. In 1995, she proposed domestic partnerships in Wisconsin.

Baldwin was the first woman elected to Congress from Wisconsin. She was also the first openly gay woman elected to the House of Representatives.

Baldwin was featured in Time magazine November 19, 2012, edition, where she was quoted as saying "I didn't run to make history." She was mentioned as a new face to watch in the Senate. She is running for reelection in 2018.

Baldwin describes herself as a proud progressive. She is routinely ranked among the most liberal members of the U.S. Congress. No two U.S. Senators from the same state vote the same way less often than Baldwin and her Republican colleague Ron Johnson do.

For 15 years, Baldwin's domestic partner was Lauren Azar; in 2009, the couple registered as domestic partners in Wisconsin. They separated in 2010.

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