Baldwin Becomes First Openly Gay Non-Incumbent Elected to Congressional Seat

Tammy Baldwin of Madison, Wisconsin became the first openly gay non-incumbant to be elected to Congress, the first out lesbian woman to enter Congress, and the first woman to represent the state of Wisconsin in Congress.

Rep. Tammy Baldwin defeated Republican Josephine Musser in an open election. Human Rights Campaign Executive Director Elizabeth Birch said of Baldwin’s victory, “American voters rejected the mean-spirited, anti-gay positions that have been expressed throughout this election season, and registered their dissatisfaction at the polls. In most cases where the voters had a choice, they picked the moderate, fair-minded candidate. This should be a clear message to the Republican leadership: Extreme right candidates don’t make good candidates. The GOP must stop taking orders from religious political organizations, including the Christian Coalition and the Family Research Council.”

Although Baldwin’s election was a victory for lesbian and gay rights advocates, the lesbian and gay community suffered losses in initiatives in Alaska and Hawaii.


HRC - November 4, 1998

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