This profile of House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi describes her work on LGBT legislative issues during her nearly 25 years in Congress. It covers her first speech on the House floor in 1987, when she spoke out about AIDS, and her tenure as speaker of the House, during which "don’t ask, don’t tell" was repealed and a federal hate crimes bill was passed. Now, as she tries to help her party regain control of the lower chamber, Pelosi says she will miss Rep. Barney Frank, D-Mass., who recently announced he would not seek re-election, and Rep. Tammy Baldwin, D-Wis., who is running for the U.S. Senate.
Rep. Tammy Baldwin, D-Wis., who announced her run for the U.S. Senate this week, told reporters she would not back down from her fight for Wisconsin families, or from those who might use her sexual orientation against her in the upcoming campaign. But the campaign will be "very tough," Baldwin said, noting the pitched political atmosphere in Wisconsin.
Two key votes in Congress Thursday put the U.S. military on a path toward ending its ban on openly gay troops, with the measure winning approval in the House and in a Senate committee. Throughout the debate, opponents claimed acting now would send the wrong message to troops fighting in two wars abroad, but supporters such as Rep. Tammy Baldwin, D-Wis., the only openly lesbian member of Congress, responded that it was actually the more patriotic thing to do. "In the land of the free and the home of the brave, it is long past time for Congress to end this un-American policy," Baldwin said.
A bill that would revoke the federal Defense of Marriage Act reportedly will be introduced on Tuesday by U.S. Rep. Jerrold Nadler, D-N.Y., along with out Reps. Tammy Baldwin, D-Wis., and Jared Polis, D-Colo. The measure has more than 50 co-sponsors, according to this article.
The partner of out U.S. Rep. Tammy Baldwin, D-Wis., reportedly was allowed to accompany the lawmaker as her "spouse" on a military plane, but only after House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., intervened on their behalf with Defense Secretary Robert Gates. According to out U.S. Rep. Barney Frank, D-Mass., the military's objection had less to with its ban on openly gay service members than on the White House's discomfort with equal marriage rights. Baldwin did not comment.