Tammy Baldwin Reacts With Rally Call to Obama's Executive Order Decision

The Wisconsin representative and candidate for Senate said more work must be done by activists and politicians if LGBT employees are going to get workplace protections.

BY Lucas Grindley

April 16 2012 2:44 PM ET

Candidate Tammy Baldwin, who could become the first gay person to be elected to the Senate, reacted to the news that President Obama won't ban discrimination by federal contractors by urging more action from activists.

“We’ve got to keep on organizing,” the congresswoman from Wisconsin told the Washington Blade.

The president's decision not to issue an executive order has roiled LGBT rights groups, with many issuing statements about their disappointment. Obama said he would instead press for passage of the Employment Non-Discrimination Act, ensuring gays and lesbians can't be fired from any job nationwide just because of their sexual orientation. And Baldwin said that would become an important emphasis.

“We embrace executive orders when they can occur," she told the Blade. "This president has issued several that have advanced our protections as a community significantly, but there’s no substitute for having Congress act in sending the president the bill to sign.”

As a member of the House, Baldwin knows the chances of passing ENDA while Republicans are in control are poor. That's why voters need to elect "a pro-equality majority" and "leadership that's pro-equality," she said.

Meanwhile, polls show Baldwin in a tight race but leading Republicans in Wisconsin to replace outgoing Sen. Herb Kohl. Plus Baldwin has continued her fundraising strength into the first quarter of 2012 by raising $2 million, significantly outpacing her potential opponents.

Baldwin is an outspoken supporter of LGBT equality, and she also told the Blade that she sides with the growing number of Democrats who are calling for the party's platform to include marriage equality.

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