MADISON, Wis. — In response to new revelations he helped found and operate an organization that explicitly discriminates against members of the LGBTQ community, Wisconsin Supreme Court candidate Brain Hagedorn is again asking voters to trust he will treat everyone equally on the bench. One Wisconsin Now Research Director Joanna Beilman-Dulin noted that was the same response from from Hagedorn in reaction to media reports on outrageous homophobic writings that he posted on a weblog he maintained.
“Once again Brian Hagedorn is standing by his extreme, discriminatory views and asking voters to trust he would set them aside to treat everyone equally before the law,” said One Wisconsin Now Research Director Joanna Beilman-Dulin. “Once again his actions show he cannot be trusted.”
Numerous media outlets reported on a series of virulently homophobic, anti-LGBTQ blog posts from Hagedorn including, “Hagedorn twice wrote that a landmark gay rights ruling by the U.S. Supreme Court striking down a Texas anti-sodomy law could lead to the legalization of bestiality, sex with animals, in America. ‘The idea that homosexual behavior is different than bestiality as a constitutional matter is unjustifiable,’ …”
One Wisconsin Now subsequently documented how in 2016, after being appointed to a court seat by former Gov. Scott Walker, Hagedorn helped found The Augustine Academy, a private school whose official policy bans members of the LGBTQ community from working there, would result in their termination if they were discovered to be LGBTQ and would expel students if they, or their parents, are gay. According to school records, Hagedorn continues to serve on the school’s board of directors.
Beilman-Dulin noted this was not the only instance of Hagedorn acting on his discriminatory views as an officer of the court. While working as Scott Walker’s lawyer in the governor’s office, Hagedorn tried to use the courts to undermine a Wisconsin law providing basic rights for LGBTQ couples like hospital visitation and inheritance.
She concluded, “This is not a question of Brian Hagedorn’s faith, it is a question of Brian Hagedorn’s trustworthiness. Working to undermine equal rights laws as an officer of the court and founding and helping lead an organization that explicitly discriminates against people while you are a judge does not earn trust you can or will treat all equally before the law.”