Tammy Baldwin, the first out LGBTQ person to be elected to the U.S. Senate, commemorated the Stonewall uprising in a speech on the Senate floor today.
“The Stonewall uprising inspired thousands of LGBTQ individuals to emerge from shadow, to come out publicly, as they stood up for their community the night of June 28, 1969, and beyond, putting their lives and safety at risk,” Baldwin said.
She also emphasized the key role that transgender women of color, such as Marsha P. Johnson and Sylvia Rivera, played in the rebellion against police harassment at New York City’s Stonewall Inn, an event credited with jump-starting the modern LGBTQ rights movement.
Her speech came the day after she introduced a resolution to honor the 50th anniversary of Stonewall. “This resolution commends the bravery, solidarity, and resiliency of the LGBTQ community in the face of violence and discrimination, both past and present,” she said. “And it condemns violence and discrimination against members of the LGBTQ community and recommits to securing justice, equality, and well-being for LGBTQ people in our country.”
“We should be proud of the enormous progress that we have made over the last 50 years, and let us remain inspired by the courage of this story, the story of Stonewall,” she concluded.
Baldwin, a Wisconsin Democrat who identifies as lesbian, introduced her resolution along with two other Democratic senators, Chuck Schumer and Kirsten Gillibrand, both representing New York, and one Republican, Susan Collins of Maine. Democratic Reps. Jerrold Nadler of New York and Deb Haaland of New Mexico today introduced a companion resolution in the House.
Watch Baldwin’s speech below.