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Baldwin Votes Are There for ENDA DADT Repeal

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Congresswoman Tammy Baldwin is disappointed that LGBT provisions did not make it into the House-approved health care overhaul, but she's hopeful her peers will pass an ENDA bill and legislation to end "don't ask, don't tell."

The Wisconsin representative -- one of three openly gay people in Congress -- was in Boston on March 13, and expressed optimism over the two gay-related bills, which if passed, would make gay discrimination illegal in the workplace and end the ban on openly gay soldiers in the military, respectively. Baldwin believes there are enough supporters of both pieces of legislation to ensure passage, but she hesitated from saying a vote would be taken before the November mid-term election.

"Certainly there are members of Congress who are nervous because of the economy, the rate of joblessness," she said. "Across the country, people are agitated. On the other hand, my constituents want to see bolder and quicker change, and so I actually see positive signs to follow through [on DADT and ENDA]."

Baldwin also brought up the stalled Domestic Partnership Benefits and Obligations Act, which would grant the same benefits to the domestic partners of gay federal workers that spouses receive. Baldwin said the health care bill has put almost every other piece of legislation on the backburner, but that Nancy Pelosi is very supportive of the DPBOA.

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