Part 3: Our Hall of Fame
BY Advocate Contributors
March 21 2012 2:00 AM ET
When Tammy Baldwin won election to the U.S. House of Representatives and joined Congress in 1999, the odds were against her. Baldwin was the first woman to ever be sent to Congress from Wisconsin. And she was the first non-incumbent to run a campaign for federal office while openly gay.
“I’ve always believed that having a seat at the table matters,” Baldwin told The Advocate after announcing her newest run for office; this time, for U.S. Senate. “It matters that our legislative bodies are representative of the whole diversity of our country and of my state. Nobody checks their life experience at the door.”
Baldwin came out while serving on the Dane County Board of Supervisors. She went on to win a seat in the Wisconsin State Assembly. At every level that Baldwin has served, she argues for LGBT rights. She cofounded the LGBT Equality Caucus, fought "don't ask, don't tell," advocates for marriage equality and is a cosponsor of a bill to repeal the Defense of Marriage Act. Now the seven-term congresswoman, if elected, would become the first openly LGBT senator in history.