Anti-hate leaders denounce conservative Supreme Court candidate: ‘Keep hate out of our courtrooms’
Hagedorn says he would stay impartial if elected
MADISON, Wis. — Members of the nonpartisan group “We Are Many-United Against Hate” came to the state Capitol on Thursday to stand against State Appeals Court Judge Brian Hagedorn.
“When Mr. Hagedorn spouts his hateful words against the LGBT community and also says his hate is part of his Christian faith, that is something all of us must object to,” said Masood Akhtar, the group’s founder and an American-Muslim activist during a news conference.
Leaders from the group “We Are Many – United Against Hate” hold a news conference to stand against what they call @judgehagedorn‘s “hateful, homophobic remarks and actions.” American Muslim activist Masood Akhtar says, “We should reject his hate.” #news3now pic.twitter.com/QykDrpYj75
— Rose Schmidt (@RoseSchmidtTV) March 7, 2019
Hagedorn, who is backed by conservatives, has lost endorsements and support from major business groups after reports that he founded a private school that can expel students and ban teachers for being gay. Blog posts from 2005 also surfaced in which Hagedorn made controversial comments about homosexuality and abortion.
His campaign sent News 3 Now a statement in response to the news conference: “Judge Hagedorn treats everyone fairly under the law. His job is to say what the law is and not what he thinks the law should be. He is running for the Supreme Court to protect religious freedoms for all Wisconsinites, regardless of faith.”
He made similar comments and defended his words and actions at the Milwaukee Press Club on Wednesday.
“Some of the arguments that have been made against me are without doubt a blatant attempt not just against me — but against people of faith more generally,” Hagedorn told reporters.
Hagedorn is running against Appeals Court Judge Lisa Neubauer, who is backed by liberals, for the open seat on the state Supreme Court left by longtime Justice Shirley Abrahamson.
Akhtar said because his organization is nonpartisan, he is not endorsing a candidate in the race.
“Here is my personal message to the judge: Keep hate out of our courtrooms and replace it with love,” Akhtar said.
Members of the group said they want people to know that they do not condone Hagedorn’s use of his Christian faith to justify his controversial beliefs.
“Judge Hagedorn represents a Christian position but not the Christian position. Challenging him does not call Christianity itself into question,” said Charles Cohen, an emeritus professor of religious studies at University of Wisconsin-Madison and an advisory board member of “We Are Many-United Against Hate.”
Neubauer’s campaign did not return multiple requests for comment.
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