Tammy Baldwin on Gay Marriage

Last Updated : Oct 31, 2012

Summary

Congresswoman Baldwin is a strong supporter of marriage equality for all couples. She is one of the few openly homosexual representatives in Congress and supports federal benefits for same-sex couples, and requiring states to acknowledge same sex marriages in other states. She has co-sponsored the Respect for Marriage Act to require that one state acknowledge any marriage in another state, but at the same time stated that an amendment to define marriage as between one man and one woman was not necessary as it was a state issue.

Marriage Protection Act

The Marrige Protection Act would have prevented the courts from ruling on the definition of marriage. When speaking against the legislation in 2004, Congresswoman Baldwin stated that it would tell gay and lesbian Americans that they may not defend their constitutional rights. She cautioned that stripping the courts of their power to rule on the issue of marriage would set a dangerous precedent and open the door for similar legislation on abortion and the PATRIOT Act.

Constitutional Amendment

In 2004, Congresswoman Baldwin opposed a constitutional amendment to define marriage as between one man and one woman by stating that preemptively amending the Constitution to prevent something that has yet to happen is a dangerous principle that Congress should not endorse. On the overall topic of marriage, she stated that marriage's role in protecting children is about providing sustenance, teaching, sharing cultures and beliefs, and providing love and emotional support and that none of those are exclusive to a couple consisting of a man and a woman. She also noted that given the financial benefits of a marriage, children being raised by same-sex couples are at a financial disadvantage.

In opposing the amendment in 2006, Congresswoman Baldwin stated that an amendment was not necessary as sates around the country were already addressing the issue of gay marriage through the normal legislative and governmental process. She added that the proposed amendment limits the ability of States to confer protections such as important rights like hospital visitation rights, health insurance and broader civil union or domestic partnership protections on unmarried couples, and it undermines our federalist tradition of deferring to the States to regulate the institution of marriage.

Don't Ask, Don't Tell

In October of 2009, Congresswoman Baldwin stated that Don't Ask, Don't Tell was misguided, unjust, and, flat out discriminatory. She added that the policy damaged the lives and livelihoods of military professionals and deprived our Armed Forces of their honorable service and needed skills.

Federal Benefits

In 2010, Congresswoman Baldwin sponsored the Domestic Partners Benefits and Obligations Act of 2009. She stated that it was high time we extend to the same-sex domestic partners of federal employees all of the benefits currently enjoyed by the opposite-sex spouses of federal employees.

DOMA

In 2011, Congresswoman Baldwin stated that those fighting to repeal DOMA had long known that fairness and justice were on their side. She stated that repealing DOMA is important symbolically and substantively as DOMA harms real Americans, children, and their loving parents.

 

Marriage Protection Act

In July of 2004, Congresswoman Baldwin spoke on the House floor in opposition to the Marriage Protection Act.

 

Opposition to an Amendment

In September of 2004, Congresswoman Baldwin spoke on the House floor in opposition to an amendment to define marriage as between one man and one woman.

 

Marriage Protection Act

In July of 2006, Congresswoman Baldwin spoke on the House floor in opposition to the Marriage Protection Amendment to define marriage as one man and one woman. She also states that an amendment is not needed as states are defining marriage.

 

Don't Ask, Don't Tell

In October of 2009, Congresswoman Baldwin spoke on the House floor in support of the legislation to repeal the Don't Ask, Don't Tell policy.

 

Benefits for Federal Employees

In June of 2010, Congresswoman Baldwin issued a press statement noting her support for a recent decision to allow benefits for same-sex couples that are federal employees.

 

Reaction to Court Ruling

In August of 2010, Congresswoman Baldwin issued a press statement noting her reaction to a federal court ruling that the same-sex marriage ban in unconstitutional.

 

DOMA Repeal and Marriage Equality

In February of 2011, Congresswoman Baldwin issued a press statement noting her support for the Justice Department ending its defense of the Defense of Marriage Act.

 

Official Website Statements

 

Voting Record

Don't Ask, Don't Tell

In 2010, the House voted to overturn the policy of don't ask, don't tell. Tammy Baldwin voted in favor of repealing Don't Ask, Don't Tell.

Tammy Baldwin voted in favor of repealing Don't Ask, Don't Tell.

Constitutional Amendment

In 2006 and 2004, the House voted on adding a constitutional amendment to establish that marriage shall consist of one man and one woman. It sought to ensure that no measure enacted in one state could be enforced in another state. The measures failed in both 2006 and 2004 with the support of most Republicans and the opposition of most Democrats. Tammy Baldwin voted against the 2006 constitutional amendment attempt.

Tammy Baldwin voted against the 2006 constitutional amendment attempt.

Constitutional Amendment

In 2006 and 2004, the House voted on adding a constitutional amendment to establish that marriage shall consist of one man and one woman. It sought to ensure that no measure enacted in one state could be enforced in another state. The measures failed in both 2006 and 2004 with the support of most Republicans and the opposition of most Democrats. Tammy Baldwin voted against the 2004 constitutional amendment attempt.

Tammy Baldwin voted against the 2004 constitutional amendment attempt.

Marriage Protection Act of 2004

The Marriage Protection Act of 2004 sought to ensure that no State shall be required to give effect to any marriage between persons of the same sex under the laws of any other State. Although the bill passed the house in roll call 410, it was not voted on in the US Senate. Tammy Baldwin voted against the Marriage Protection Act.

Tammy Baldwin voted against the Marriage Protection Act.

 

Sponsored and Cosponsored Legislation

Session-111; Bill Number-H R 1283; Military Readiness Enhancement Act of 2009 - Cosponsor

To amend title 10, United States Code, to enhance the readiness of the Armed Forces by replacing the current policy concerning homosexuality in the Armed Forces, referred to as "Don't Ask, Don't Tell", with a policy of nondiscrimination on the basis of sexual orientation.

Session-111; Bill Number-H R 3567; Respect for Marriage Act of 2009 - Cosponsor

Amends the Defense of Marriage Act to repeal provisions allowing states, territories, possessions of the United States, or Indian tribes to give no effect to a public act, record, or judicial proceeding of any other such entity respecting a relationship between persons of the same sex that is treated as a marriage under that entity's laws or a right or claim arising from such relationship. Amends the federal rules of construction added by such Act concerning the definitions of "marriage" and "spouse" to provide that, for purposes of any federal law in which marital status is a factor, an individual shall be considered married if that individual's marriage is valid in the state where the marriage was entered into or, in the case of a marriage entered into outside any state, if the marriage is valid in the place where entered into and the marriage could have been entered into in a state.

Session-111; Bill Number-H R 1024; Uniting American Families Act of 2009 - Cosponsor

To amend the Immigration and Nationality Act to eliminate discrimination in the immigration laws by permitting permanent partners of United States citizens and lawful permanent residents to obtain lawful permanent resident status in the same manner as spouses of citizens and lawful permanent residents and to penalize immigration fraud in connection with permanent partnerships.

Session-111; Bill Number-H R 2517; Domestic Partnership Benefits and Obligations Act of 2009 - Prime Sponsor

Provides that a federal employee and his or her domestic partner shall be entitled to benefits available to, and shall be subject to obligations imposed upon, a married federal employee and his or her spouse. Defines "domestic partner" to mean an adult unmarried person living with another adult unmarried person of the same sex in a committed, intimate relationship. Defines "benefits" to include federal health insurance and enhanced dental and vision benefits, retirement and disability benefits, family, medical, and emergency leave, group life insurance, long-term care insurance, compensation for work injuries, and benefits for disability, death, or captivity. Excludes members of the uniformed services from the definition of "employee."

Session-111; Bill Number-H R 6520; Don't Ask, Don't Tell Repeal Act of 2010 - Cosponsor

Provides for repeal of the current Department of Defense (DOD) policy concerning homosexuality in the Armed Forces, to be effective 60 days after the Secretary of Defense has received DOD's comprehensive review on the implementation of such repeal, and the President, Secretary, and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff (JCS) certify to the congressional defense committees that they have considered the report and proposed plan of action, that DOD has prepared the necessary policies and regulations to exercise the discretion provided by such repeal, and that implementation of such policies and regulations is consistent with the standards of military readiness and effectiveness, unit cohesion, and military recruiting and retention. Provides that, until such time as the above conditions are met, the current policy shall remain in effect.

Session-111; Bill Number-H R 4806; Every Child Deserves a Family Act - Cosponsor

Prohibits an entity that receives federal assistance and is involved in adoption or foster care placements from discriminating against prospective adoptive or foster parents solely on the basis of their sexual orientation, gender identification, or martial status, or on the basis of the sexual orientation or gender identity of the child involved. Requires the Secretary of Health and Human Services (HHS), in order to ensure compliance with, and ensure understanding of the legal, practice, and culture changes required by, this Act in making foster care and adoption placement decisions, to provide specified technical assistance to all entities covered by this Act. Requires a General Accounting Office study and report to Congress on whether states have substantially complied with this Act in eliminating policies, practices, or statutes that deny adoption rights on the basis of these criteria.

Session-110; Bill Number-H R 4838; Domestic Partnership Benefits and Obligations Act of 2007 - Prime Sponsor

To provide benefits to domestic partners of Federal employees.

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