ABOVE: Sen. Tammy Baldwin (Photo by Chris Schmitt Photography)
Sen. Tammy Baldwin (D-Wis.), the first out lesbian elected to Congress, recognized the 50th anniversary of the Stonewall riots in a speech on the Senate floor June 27 that reflected on major progress of the LGBT rights movement.
“When we look back at the Stonewall uprising and activism that grew out of that moment, even the most basic progress seemed like it would take a revolution to achieve,” Baldwin said. “So we had one.”
The riots came about, Baldwin said, after “a few brave individuals” at the Stonewall Inn tired of police of police raids in the heat of turmoil of the 1960s decided to take action.
In particular, Baldwin named Marsha P. Johnson and Sylvia Rivera, transgender women of color who were key figures in the riots.
“The Stonewall uprising empowered thousands of LGBTQ individuals to emerge from shadows and come out publicly as they stood up for their community the night of June 28, 1969 and beyond, putting their lives and their safety at risk,” Baldwin said.
Baldwin delivered the speech after introducing a bipartisan resolution to recognize the 50th anniversary of the Stonewall riots with Senate Minority Leader Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.), Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.) and Sen. Susan Collins (R-Maine). In the House, Reps. Jerrold Nadler (D-N.Y.) and Deb Haaland (D-N.M.) introduced a companion resolution this week.
“This resolution commends the bravery, solidarity, and resiliency of the LGBTQ community in the face of violence and discrimination, both past and present,” Baldwin said. “And it condemns violence and discrimination against members of the LGBTQ community and recommits itself to securing justice, equality, and well-being for LGBTQ people in our country.”
Watch Baldwin’s speech in her tweet below. Baldwin begins speaking at the 8-minute mark.
I’m on the Senate floor to honor the 50th Anniversary of Stonewall. We should be proud of the progress we’ve made, but we have more work to do. Let us remain inspired by the courage of the story of Stonewall.
— Sen. Tammy Baldwin (@SenatorBaldwin) June 27, 2019