One of the nice things about living in Madison is that we have Congresswoman Tammy Baldwin to call our own . There are many other places in the nation who yearn for a liberal Democratic member of Congress with the courage to speak clearly about the issues. As an openly gay person Baldwin speaks candidly about the matters of interest to an ever more restless and energized segment of the nation, and also her constituency. Gay America listens when she speaks.
When asked if she would get married, Baldwin said, “I believe so, but, much more important is wanting that right. I yearn for a true equality.”
Baldwin would have to drive to Iowa as it’s the closest state with marriage rights.
California appears on the road back to marriage rights, though.
“I certainly have been encouraged by Judge Vaughn Walker’s very strong ruling, finding Prop 8 unconstitutional,” Baldwin said. “It’s heartening to see the decision that Prop 8 is unconstitutional, but also heartening to see the gradual, but steady, opinion change that is leading to greater and greater support for marriage equality for gay and lesbian Americans. And we can all be a part of that education. Getting into why marriage equality is most important is what is most persuasive to the American people, not arguing around the edges of this.
“I was certainly disappointed that the stay on the ruling of the judge was not lifted. But, hand in hand with that came a commitment to review the case on a quicker pace, which I think is encouraging. I think that, the more people who are married, the easier time we will have of changing hearts and minds. If you see a same-sex married couple living in your neighborhood, shopping at the same grocery store, worshipping in the same church, all of those things change hearts and minds. So, the disappointment for me is that people who very much want equal protection under the law are denied it for an additional length of time.
“I think we certainly will win marriage equality rights. [ It’s ] just a matter of time.”
In 2006, Wisconsin had a constitutional amendment on the ballot, and the majority voted to define marriage as a relationship between a man and a woman, and to ban any substantially similar institution from legal recognition.
“Our country has always marched towards equality, just not necessarily at the pace that those who are denied full equality would be satisfied with, but it’s always been the direction that we’re headed,” Baldwin said.
“Obviously we have a number of states that are recognizing same-sex marriage at the state level. We have an active challenge [ in Massachusetts ] to the Defensive of Marriage Act at the federal level that is denying those married couples the federal benefits of marriage. We are seeing the case in California, in all likelihood, working its way up to the U.S. Supreme Court.”