Mark Bromley, the Council’s Chair, noted that “Through this award, we seek to recognize the human rights contributions of public officials who are standing with us to promote a strong U.S. foreign policy that is inclusive of sexual orientation and gender identity.” Katie Belanger, Executive Director of Fair Wisconsin, emphasized that “Congresswoman Baldwin’s
leadership has inspired us in Wisconsin. We are proud to have her represent the Badger State in Congress. Her vision for tolerance and dignity, and her support for international human rights has truly advanced our shared vision of tolerance and dignity, both for the citizens of Wisconsin and for the larger world.”
Sid Mohn, President of Heartland Alliance, a Midwest based human rights organization, noted that “Congresswoman Baldwin’s decision to create an LGBT Equality Caucus in Congress has provided an essential venue to help educate Congressional staff in other offices about the human rights abuses that continue to deny basic rights and freedoms to so many LGBT individuals abroad.”
In accepting the award, the Congresswoman noted that “In this year’s annual human rights report, the State Department once again identified serious human rights concerns impacting LGBT people worldwide. With your help, and with the support of the LGBT Equality Caucus, we are beginning to ensure that the State Department has the tools, the personnel and the funding it needs to respond to this global human rights crisis. And we are accomplishing this while still fighting to secure full rights for LGBT Americans here at home.”
The three organizations presenting the award share a commitment to basic rights for all LGBT individuals. The Council is a new coalition of fourteen leading advocacy organizations that are working together to promote human rights for LGBT communities in the United States and abroad. Fair Wisconsin fights for LGBT equality in Baldwin’s home state of Wisconsin. And Heartland Alliance is a human rights service provider that offers direct service to vulnerable LGBT populations within the US and in more than 12 countries of danger around the world.