The Wisconsin Realtors Association has withdrawn its support for conservative state Supreme Court candidate Brian Hagedorn because his past comments and actions are inconsistent with the organization's principles and the values of its members. The Realtors' due diligence is better late than never.
The withdrawal, possibly the first ever announced by the organization that represents the real estate industry, comes from an influential underwriter of conservative-backed state Supreme Court candidates in recent years.
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Past statements and actions by Hagedorn reveal a biased attitude and agenda against lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people -- apparently grounded in a religious view. Republican legislative leaders such as Assembly Speaker Robin Vos, R-Rochester, and Sen. Duey Stroebel, R-Saukville, immediately attacked the Realtors Association as a group of anti-religious zealots and asserted that Hagedorn should not be demonized for his faith.
Critics of Hagedorn should seek to understand why he and his supporters believe it is OK to act against the LGBT community. They should encourage a dialogue with religious conservatives to address issues facing LGBT people. But they need not apologize for pulling their endorsement of a candidate for Supreme Court who has endorsed hate in his words and actions. Nor should they apologize for supporting his opponent.
I am religious and went to religious grade school and high school. I was not taught the religious values espoused by Hagedorn.
Dennis McGilligan, Madison