In this exclusive audio interview Emmy Winner Charlotte Robinson talks with Congresswoman Tammy Baldwin, the first out gay woman elected to the US House of Representatives from Wisconsin’s Second Congressional District. Baldwin is a leading advocate for universal health care and Co-Chair of the Congressional LGBT Equality Caucus. When asked what she would want to see happen for our LGBT civil rights in 2010, Congresswoman Baldwin stated, “I hope that progress follows through to bills being signed and things becoming law. So I would like us to be successful in repealing the odious “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy, it’s un-American in my mind. I want to see full domestic partner benefits for federal employees and by that I ‘m referring to health benefits, family and medical leave act benefits and essentially make sure that federal LGBT employees are getting equal compensation for equal contribution to this country. I’d like to see the Employment Nondiscrimination Act passed into law. I was speaking with Congressman Frank about the progress of that measure that he authors and he believes that in the next few weeks we’ll see the committee take action on that. So those at the federal level would be very important steps forward. We started our conversation around issues of LGBT health care. If we are unable to get some of these important provisions related to research and disparities in the legislation then I think we have to continue to push for those changes in freestanding legislation. Specifically, about that, what I’m talking about is right now the federal government does not even ask questions about people's sexual orientation when they’re researching the health of the nation, when they’re taking the snapshot and observing that certain segments of the American population disproportionately carry the burden of certain disease or conditions. Well if you don’t ask the questions, you don’t produce the data and if you don’t have the data and evidence, you can’t direct relief programs funding to assure the health of the LGBT community which is of as great concern as of any other group in American society. So ultimately we have to persevere on these very important provisions.”
Congresswoman Tammy Baldwin is the recipient of this year’s Dr. Susan M. Love Award presented by Fenway Health’s Women’s Dinner Party, which takes place Saturday, March 13 at The Boston Marriott Copley Place in Boston, Massachusetts and will be hosted by Comedian Kate Clinton. Each year, the Dr. Susan M. Love Award is given to honor and celebrate a woman and/or organization that has made a significant contribution to the field of women’s health. The Love Award is given in honor of its founding recipient, Dr. Susan M. Love, a pioneer in the fields of women’s health and breast cancer. Love helped found the Revlon UCLA Breast Center in 1992 and currently heads up the Dr. Susan Love Research Foundation, which is dedicated to eradicating breast cancer. In addition to advocating extending health care coverage to all Americans and ending health disparities for LGBT Americans and their families, Baldwin has sponsored legislation providing cancer screening to low-income and uninsured women and helped lead efforts in Congress to repeal federal restrictions on stem cell research.
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