Victory Fund winner Tammy Baldwin made American political history when she was sworn into office January 6 as the United States Representative from Wisconsin's 2nd Congressional District. An open lesbian, Baldwin is the first openly gay non-incumbent ever to serve in the U.S. Congress. [In related news, openly gay Mark Pocan, the Victory Fund- supported candidate for the Wisconsin State Assembly seat being vacated by Baldwin, was sworn into office this Monday, January 4 in Madison, Wisconsin.]
"Tammy Baldwin's very presence on the floor of the House will have a phenomenal impact on breaking down antigay barriers across the country," says Victory Fund Executive Director Brian K. Bond. "Thanks to live televised coverage of Congress, millions of Americans will now see an extraordinary Congresswoman - who happens to be a lesbian - fighting for things they care about - like health care and education. And they, like the fairminded Wisconsinites who sent Tammy to Washington, will be able to move beyond the issue of sexual orientation and realize that good government comes from good leadership - which is exactly what Congresswoman Baldwin brings to the House."
The Victory Fund also hailed Tammy's place in history as an exceptional role model for gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgendered youth. "Like all young people, gay kids need someone to look up to, something to aspire to and someplace they can feel safe," says Victory Fund Political Director Kathleen DeBold. "The opening of Tammy Baldwin's Congressional Office has given them all three."
The Gay and Lesbian Victory Fund is the only national organization whose sole mission is to increase the number of qualified openly gay and lesbian public officials. The nation's 14th largest nonconnected political action committee, the Victory Fund has generated more than $2.2 million for qualified openly gay and lesbian candidates at all levels of government.