GOProud Supports Lesbian Tammy Baldwin’s Anti-Gay Wis. Senate Opponent
Members of GOProud, an organization of ultra-conservative gay Republicans, announced on Wednesday whom they would be endorsing in in the U.S. Senate race in Wisconsin: Tommy Thompson, a Republican former governor with a strong anti-gay track record. Moreover, he is running against a popular lesbian congresswoman, Democrat Tammy Baldwin, who has been a champion for LGBT rights.
The right-wing group released a statement that praises Thompson because he "championed innovative, conservative reforms" to fix Wisconsin's "entrenched unemployment, entitlement spending and inadequate public education."
GOProud Executive Director Jimmy LaSalvia called Thompson "a commonsense conservative who will focus on creating jobs and growing the economy for all Wisconsin."
Thompson had also served as secretary of Health and Human Services under President George W. Bush.
"I appreciate the support of GOProud," Thompson said, "and look forward to the growing coalition of broad support joining me on the pathway to victory in November."
GOProud's chief strategist and co-founder, Christopher Barron, criticized Baldwin. He called her "a rubber stamp for the disastrous big government policies of the far left. Tammy Baldwin will be a Senator of the special interests, the D.C. insiders, and the most liberal activists," he added. "Tommy Thompson will be a senator for the people of Wisconsin."
When it comes to LGBT issues, GOProud maintained that Thompson "consistently opposed a discriminatory Federal Marriage Amendment and is a long-time supporter of Wisconsin's non-discrimination law." But a recent Think Progress article points out that the Republican has the Employment Non-Discrimination Act, which would offer protections for LGBT Americans from workplace discrimination.
He is on record as saying that an employer should be able to fire a worker because of his or her sexual orientation during a debate in 2007. But the next day, Thompson retracted his remarks. "I didn't hear the question properly and I apologize," he claimed "It's not my position. There should be no discrimination in the workplace, and I have never believed that."
Think Progress also notes that the Republican does not support marriage equality and is a strong endorser of the federal Defense of Marriage Act.
If elected, Baldwin will be the first openly gay member of the U.S. Senate. The Gay & Lesbian Victory Fund and the LPAC, a new super PAC created by lesbians, are active in her campaign fundraising.
Watch a video of Thompson arguing that it should be legal to fire employees because they are gay: