Equality Forum’s LGBT History Month Icons: Oct. 3 – Angie Craig

Groundbreaking Congresswoman

b. February 14, 1972

“We need elected officials who are honest and work for the people.”

Angie Craig is the first openly lesbian mother elected to Congress and the first openly gay person elected to Congress from Minnesota.

Born in West Helena, Arkansas, Craig was raised in a mobile home park by a single mother. Her family struggled to pay bills and lacked health insurance. Craig worked two jobs to get through college. She earned a bachelor’s degree in journalism from the University of Memphis and took a job as a local news reporter.

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Beginning in 1997, Craig and her partner, Debra Langston, faced a heartbreaking struggle to adopt a child, whom they named Joshua. The couple lived in Tennessee, a state generally hostile to homosexuality with no provision for gays and lesbians to adopt jointly. The couple’s ensuing three-year legal battle led to an unprecedented ruling, allowing them to adopt Joshua and making it easier for other same-sex couples to adopt in the state. Although Craig and Langston separated in 2006, they continued to share custody of their son.

Craig moved to Minnesota looking for a “more open and accepting” community. Professionally, she advanced through the ranks to lead a workforce of 16,000 for a major Minnesota manufacturer. As a business leader, she used her position to advocate for marriage equality in the state.

Life experiences inspired Craig to fight injustice through politics. In 2016 she ran as a Democrat for Congress against a conservative anti-LGBT talk show host. She lost by fewer than 7,000 votes. In 2018 Craig defeated her former opponent in a rematch, becoming the first openly gay Minnesota Congressperson.

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Craig has worked on initiatives around health care affordability, educational access and support for rural communities. She authored the State Health Care Premium Reduction Act and co-sponsored an act aimed at lowering prescription drug costs. She introduced the bipartisan Feed Emergency Enhancement During Disasters (FEEDD) Act to provide farmers with additional emergency flexibility.

Craig has denounced the Trump administration’s anti-LGBT adoption waivers. In 2019 she introduced the Every Child Deserves a Family Act, which sought to end anti-LGBT discrimination in foster care and adoption.

Craig lives in Eagan, Minnesota, with her wife, Cheryl Greene. They have four children.

Articles & Websites

Meet Angie

https://craig.house.gov/about/committees-and-caucuses

https://www.rollcall.com/2017/07/17/angie-craig-back-for-rematch-against-jason-lewis-in-minnesota/

https://www.emilyslist.org/news/entry/emilys-list-endorses-angie-craig-for-congress-in-minnesotas-second-district

Adoption struggle shaped 2nd District candidate Angie Craig

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