November 7th, 2012
04:00 AM ET

Wisconsin's Tammy Baldwin is first openly gay person elected to Senate

By Emanuella Grinberg, CNN

(CNN) - Tammy Baldwin made history Tuesday night - twice. She became the first openly gay politician, and first Wisconsin woman, elected to the U.S. Senate.

The seven-term Democratic congresswoman edged past former Wisconsin Gov. Tommy Thompson in a win that advocacy groups hailed as a significant stride toward bringing diversity to the Senate.

"This is a big day for gay women in America, and really, for all communities who aren't the typical straight, white, wealthy men elected to Congress," political commentator Sally Kohn said.

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There has never been an openly gay or lesbian member of the U.S. Senate, according to several LGBT advocacy groups. Baldwin is one of four openly gay House members, along with fellow Democrats Barney Frank, of Massachusetts; David Cicilline, of Rhode Island; and Jared Polis, of Colorado.

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Filed under: 2012 Election • History • Politics • Sexual orientation • Women
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