LPAC – best known as the ”Lesbian Super PAC” - has made its first endorsement of the election season this week, backing openly lesbian Democrat Rep. Tammy Baldwin in Wisconsin’s upcoming Senate race. Wisconsin, of course, is Paul Ryan’s home state – he’s the guy GOP hopeful Mitt Romney selected to be his VP (if elected).
“Lesbians needed a voice in politics,” says LPAC Chair Sarah Schmidt. And Baldwin is currently the only openly lesbian woman serving in Congress. If elected come November, she would become the first openly gay person in the U.S. Senate.
The support from LPAC, which officially launched in July, comes today as Wisconsin voters head to the polls to pick Baldwin’s GOP challenger. There are currently four hopefuls – all men and all staunch conservatives – but only one will take on the Rep. this fall. LPAC says it will match $50,000 of funds that come from supporters as the pro-LGBT candidate faces opposition (and attacks) from right-wing opponents who have already taken a stand against everything from marriage equality to workplace protections.
“Polls are showing that she is in a dead heat against all her potential far-right opponents,” Schmidt says. “Not only would Tammy’s win be a win for lesbians, for women, but for all fair, equality-minded Americans. This is must-hold seat for the pro-women Senate Democrats to keep control. In Washington, D.C., in state legislatures, and through ballot initiatives across the country, women’s rights are being taken away every day.”
Though LPAC’s first official show of support may seem light years away from Pennsylvania, the group is looking at candidates on a state-by-state basis. And if Baldwin is elected in Wisconsin this November, the impact will be felt on a national level as the Senate debates legislation impacting LGBT Americans all over the country. Her win could also help reverse some of the more discriminatory policies that have been enacted by guys like Paul Ryan, who’s voted against all LGBT rights initiatives in his home state.
Want to learn more about Ryan? Here are eight facts every LGBT voter needs to know.
Want to find out more about LPAC? Click here to read the latest and to sign up.