The Democratic National Convention is under way, and the Democratic Party has for the first time approved marriage equality as part of its platform.
Two Wisconsin candidates for congressional seats said adding the need for marriage equality to the Democratic Party platform not only shows the evolution of society but also the importance of a lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender voice in government.
Wisconsin state Rep. Mark Pocan introduced U.S. Rep. Tammy Baldwin, D-Wis., to the national Democratic LGBT caucus Tuesday. Pocan is running for Baldwin's congressional seat, and Baldwin is running for U.S. Senate.
"If my congressional district honors me with taking Tammy's place in congress, we will for the first time ever elect a back-to-back LGBT member of Congress for the state of Wisconsin, and we will have elected more openly gay or lesbian members to Congress than any other state in the entire country," Pocan said.
The Democratic LGBT caucus celebrated the fact that the Democratic Party is officially supporting gay marriage for the first time.
"I'm proud that the Democratic platform includes a provision on marriage equality, and I think it goes back to that fundamental Wisconsin value of fairness as the guidepost," Baldwin said.
Pocan said his and Baldwin's candidacy show a generational shift.
"So you need leaders to be able to represent that. They always say it's important to have a seat at the table. If you don't have a seat at the table, you're likely on the menu, and I think we need to have all people represented in government," Pocan said.
But in a state that has passed a constitutional amendment against gay marriage, it remains to be seen if sexuality can still be a liability.
"I think (Baldwin) is going to be disproving all their fears. She's done wonderful things for Wisconsin and is a great representative, and I think the people that she works for and represents are seeing what a good job she's doing. So they don't see her as a gay person, they see her as somebody who works, just like everybody else," said Gabriel Davis, a delegate from Elk River, Minn.
Baldwin has been given one of the coveted convention speeches in prime time Thursday night before the president speaks.