Tammy Baldwin prepares for DNC speech

Mon. September 3, 2012 11:00 AM by GoPride.com News Staff

Milwaukee, WI - Democratic U.S. Rep. Tammy Baldwin—aiming to be the first out gay U.S. senator ever—will address the Democratic National Convention (DNC) on Thursday.

The 50-year-old Baldwin will give a prime-time speech on the convention's final evening and in the same stadium where President Barack Obama will speak.

"We've seen Paul Ryan and Scott Walker on the national stage. I'm going to talk about the Wisconsin I know," Baldwin told the Milwaukee-Wisconsin Journal Sentinel. "We've increasingly seen wealthy, powerful interests gain power in Washington and, frankly, in Madison, and write their own set of rules. Hardworking families deserve a shot."

Baldwin faces former four-term Wis. Gov. Tommy Thompson (R-WI) in November. Thompson served as U.S. Secretary of Health and Human Services under George W. Bush, where he supported the administration's failed abstinence-only programs.

Thompson has said he strongly supports the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), a federal ban on same-sex marriage. During a 2007 GOP presidential primary debate, Thompson said it was OK for a private employer to fire someone based on sexual orientation. The next day Thompson said that he "didn't hear the question properly" and reversed his statement.

"I think it's a question of values and issues and not personalities," said Baldwin.

LPAC, a super PAC formed by several lesbians, announced in August that Baldwin would be the first person to receive the group's support. Baldwin, a seven-term Democratic congresswoman, could become the first openly gay person elected to the Senate.

The gay GOP group GOProud has endorsed Thompson.

The U.S. Senate election is important to Democrats because it could help decide party control.