MADISON, Wis. (AP) – Democratic Wisconsin Gov. Tony Evers said at a Pride Month launch ceremony Wednesday that if he loses re-election in November, Republicans will take the “breathtaking” step of banning books, especially those related to the LGBTQ community.
Evers made his comments after a ceremony outside the state Capitol where a Progress Pride flag was raised symbolizing the inclusion of marginalized people within the LGBTQ community. Evers, who has sworn to always stand with the LGBTQ community, was the first governor to raise a rainbow flag over the Capitol in 2019. He was asked if he was worried the tradition might end if a Republican beat him.
Evers said he was concerned about any progress made for the LGBTQ community. He referenced the efforts of some Republican lawmakers who are studying the books available in school libraries across the state. The Wisconsin Examiner reported Tuesday on Republicans assembling lists of books covering LGBTQ topics and characters, as well as issues of gender identity or sexuality.
“They’re going to be in charge of banning books in the state of Wisconsin and you can be sure some of them will be directly tied to the efforts of the LGBTQ community,” Evers said. “Just think about it. This Republican legislature and governor would ban books in the state of Wisconsin. It’s breathtaking.
A spokeswoman for the Wisconsin Republican Party did not immediately return a message asking for a reaction to Evers’ allegations. Neither have the Republican gubernatorial candidates — former Lt. Governor Rebecca Kleefisch, construction company co-owner Tim Michels, business consultant Kevin Nicholson and state Rep. Timothy Ramthun. The winner of the Aug. 9 primary will advance to face Evers.
Republicans control the state Legislature and are widely expected to maintain or even increase their majorities after the fall election. If a Republican is governor, anything the legislature passes can be enacted.
Evers has vetoed more bills in his more than three years as governor than any other governor in state history. He points out in his re-election bid that he’s the only person stopping Republicans from passing sweeping policy changes affecting elections, abortion rights, gun laws and now children’s rights. LGBTQ.
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