Baldwin: Congress Must Pass ENDA, Repeal DOMA
A confident Wisconsin Congresswoman Tammy Baldwin received a standing ovation at the Victory Fund’s National Champagne Brunch in Washington, D.C., on Sunday.
During her speech at the Washington Hilton, Baldwin once again urged her colleagues to repeal the federal Defense of Marriage Act. "There are now thousands of loving couples who are legally married in their own state, but not in the eyes of the federal government," she said. "We must ensure that every marriage, every family is recognized and honored by the federal government."
Baldwin, who announced her candidacy to succeed retiring U.S. Sen. Herb Kohl last September, made no specific references to last week’s announcement that President Barack Obama will not issue an executive order banning federal contractors from discriminating against their LGBT employees. She stressed, however, that Congress needs to pass an LGBT-inclusive Employment Non-Discrimination Act.
"Americans must never fear that they will be fired or denied a job because of their sexual orientation or gender identity," said Baldwin.
Baldwin further stressed that long-term unemployment, loss of health care, foreclosures and the depletion of retirement savings are four of the issues that she said are on the minds of most Wisconsin voters. She also said student loan debt remains a serious problem, referring to students whom she met on a tour of eight college campuses across the Badger State last week.
"It was really inspiring to meet so many smart, committed young people; it was also humbling to think about our government’s responsibility to them," said Baldwin. "Most of them will be graduating with mountains of debt and right now, the Tea Party-dominated Republicans in the House of Representatives aren’t doing anything to help them. I’m running to be a fighter for the people of my state; young and old alike."
Baldwin, 50, would become the first openly lesbian U.S. senator if elected in November.