One Wisconsin Now: State Supreme Court candidate Brian Hagedorn continues to stonewall on paid speeches to hate group

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Mike Browne, Deputy Director
Raises More Red Flags About Commitment to Treat Everyone Equally Before the Law

MADISON, Wis. — In 2015, 2016, 2017 and 2018 state Supreme Court candidate Brian Hagedorn was paid thousands of dollars and received gifts from an anti-LGBTQ hate group, the Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF). In response to media revelations about his hate group windfall, Hagedorn said he was compensated for giving speeches while a state court judge but has refused to release copies or recordings of his remarks.

“Brian Hagedorn has a long, documented history of holding anti-LGBTQ views and supporting discrimination,” said One Wisconsin Now Research Director Joanna Beilman-Dulin. “That he’s been compensated thousands of dollars over the years by a hate group and is refusing to divulge copies, transcripts or recordings of his remarks raises more red flags about his commitment to treating everyone equally before the law.”

The group compensating Hagedorn for his services, the Alliance Defending Freedom, has been deemed to be a hate group by the Southern Poverty Law Center. In making the designation, they cite the ADF’s support for, “the recriminalization of homosexuality in the U.S. and criminalization abroad” and note the group “has defended state-sanctioned sterilization of trans people abroad; has linked homosexuality to pedophilia and claims that a “homosexual agenda” will destroy Christianity and society. ADF also works to develop “religious liberty” legislation and case law that will allow the denial of goods and services to LGBT people on the basis of religion.”

In addition to participating in hate group conferences while a judge, Hagedorn has:

  • Authored a series of homophobic writings, some in response to rulings of courts including claiming a U.S. Supreme Court ruling striking down a discriminatory Texas law could result in legalizing sex with animals;
  • Interned with the hate group Alliance Defense Fund (now called the Alliance Defending Freedom) while in law schools and described the group as “formed to fight the culture wars” in his own writings;
  • As legal counsel for then Gov. Scott Walker sought to undermine equal rights, agreeing with the ADF in litigation they supported in Wisconsin to deny same sex couples rights like hospital visitation;
  • Founded and serves on the board of directors of a school that, according to its written policies, 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.

Beilman-Dulin concluded, “By keeping secret his speeches to hate groups Brian Hagedorn proves again that he can’t be trusted to keep his homophobia to himself and treat everyone equally before the law.”

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