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GOP Picks Anti-LGBTQ Leah Vukmir to Face Tammy Baldwin in Wisconsin

Tammy Baldwin, Leah Vukmir

Following Tuesday’s primary, Wisconsin U.S. Sen. Tammy Baldwin will face off in the general election in November with the virulently anti-LGBTQ Republican nominee Leah Vukmir, who beat out challenger Kevin Nicholson, reports the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. 

The Wisconsin GOP endorsed Vukmir,  an evangelical Christian whose record of anti-LGBTQ legislation goes back years, and Tuesday voters followed suit. Currnently a state senator, she’s long been in bed with Wisconsin Family Action, a statewide group known for its actions against marriage equality and abortion. In 2010, she illustrated the level to which she’ll go to ensure LGBTQ people aren’t protected when she worked with WFA to ensure antibullying language was not added to a school security bill. 

In a statement calling the Wisconsin race one of the most “competitive” Senate races this cycle, the LGBTQ Victory Fund warned against electing Vukmir. 

“Wisconsin voters will have a stark choice come November – reelect Senator Tammy Baldwin, the first openly LGBTQ U.S. Senator, or elect an extremist anti-LGBTQ politician who prides herself on the divisiveness that makes Congress so unpopular,” Annise Parker, Victory Fund president and CEO, said in a statement. 

“Leah Vukmir built her career on opposing basic equality for LGBTQ Americans and considers designated hate groups among her closest supporters. Wisconsin voters have a proud history of electing and reelecting groundbreaking LGBTQ candidates like Senator Baldwin, and we are confident they will reject Vukmir’s hostile agenda come November,” Parker continued. 

While Vukmir remained mostly silent on LGBTQ issues leading up to Tuesday’s primary, her work with the WFA stands on its own. Beyond colluding with the WFA, which seeks to undo marriage equality and abortion at every turn, Vukmir has sought to eliminate state regulations that corporations oppose, including those regarding pollution, according to the Wisconsin Gazette. 

Meanwhile, Baldwin, a lesbian who made history when she became the first out U.S. senator in 2013, has a record that includes voting across the board in favor of marriage equality. Her other human rights actions include working to prohibit workplace discrimination based on sexual orientation, voting against a ban on LGBTQ people adopting, and voting in favor of reauthorizing the Violence Against Women Act. 

“Senator Baldwin’s reelection is considered critical to building a pro-equality majority in the U.S. Senate next year – but more importantly it is about who is on the side of average Wisconsinites,” Parker added. “Leah Vukmir not only opposes equality for all Americans, she continues to put her corporate special interests ahead of the hardworking Wisconsin families Senator Baldwin champions. The choice is clear for voters come November.”

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