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Tuesday, April 14, 2015

 3:19 PM 

Dems push anti-discrimination resolution

Assembly Republicans accused Dems of playing "gotcha" and politics today in introducing an anti-discrimination resolution.

The resolution stems from Indiana's so-called Religious Freedom Restoration Act. That law has led to claims of discrimination based on sexual orientation and religion.

Assembly Dems, in the resolution, sought agreement that Wisconsin leaders would not approve or endorse discrimination and would protect all civil rights. And in seeking that agreement, Rep. Andy Jorgensen, D-Milton, went on the offensive, questioning multiple Republicans about whether they would bring forth legislation similar to that in Indiana.

"We can take comfort in the knowledge that that won't happen here, right?" Jorgensen said.

Several Republicans refused to respond to Jorgensen until Rep. Alvin Ott, R-Forest Junction, fired back, calling the resolution and Jorgensen's questioning "gamesmanship" and "immature." Ott said he does not know if Indiana-style legislation would appear in Wisconsin.

"But I do know you're making a mockery of the issue as you're presenting it today," he said.

Assembly Speaker Robin Vos, R-Rochester, also took issue with the resolution and the Dems' approach, particularly what he described as "listening to you berate individuals about introducing a bill."

Vos said the state constitution already protects religious freedoms.

"In the end, it's not going to happen in Wisconsin," Vos said.


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