Sen. Tammy Baldwin (D-Wis.), the first openly gay woman elected to Congress, has led the effort to win over at least 10 Republican senators to defeat a filibuster of the Respect for Marriage Act. 

WASHINGTON — U.S. Sen. Tammy Baldwin, D-Wis., a soft-spoken liberal, was on a plane home from Washington last month when she got word that Sen. Ron Johnson, her home-state colleague and a stridently hard-right Republican, had said publicly that he would not oppose a bill protecting same-sex marriage rights.

Seizing a rare moment in which she and Johnson — polar opposites by any measure — might agree on something, Baldwin tapped out a text to him saying she was thrilled.

Place a free digital obituary

We provide a free service for you to honor your loved ones. Click below to get started.