Melanie Conklin

State Capitol Discriminates, Legislator Charges

Signs asking unvaccinated people to wear masks is “discrimination,” Republican insists.

By , Wisconsin Examiner - Jun 6th, 2021 11:26 am
Wisconsin State Capitol. Photo by Mariiana Tzotcheva.

Wisconsin State Capitol. File photo by Mariiana Tzotcheva.

Rep. Scott Allen (R-Waukesha) finds the Capitol bathrooms inhospitable due to signs that the Department of Administration (DOA) has posted on the doors that ask people who are not vaccinated against COVID-19 to wear a mask. That, he says, is discriminatory and amounts to public shaming.

“I don’t have those signs on my business doors because I welcome all customers,” says Allen. “And our Capitol building is there for all the people of Wisconsin and we ought to act like that and not be discriminatory against those who’ve maybe chosen not to get the vaccine.”

During a public hearing earlier this week in the Assembly’s Constitution and Ethics Committee on a series of bills seeking to prohibit government, businesses and others from requiring proof of vaccinations, vaccine passports or other forms of “vaccine discrimination,” Allen says people who came to testify brought up the signs and said they felt unwelcome in the Capitol.

There are similar signs, says Allen, on other doors including entrances to the Capitol. Asked if businesses should make their own decisions, Allen disagrees. “You could say it’s up to the private businesses to do what they want to do. And that same attitude existed in the 1950s and 60s, which allowed business owners to say, ‘Black folks couldn’t sit at the counter.’ And that’s not right.”

Allen sent a letter Thursday to DOA Secretary Joel Brennan, requesting that the signs be removed:

Mr. Brennan:

We should be hospitable to people visiting the Capitol, after all, it is the people’s Capitol building. Please remove the signs on bathroom doors in the Capitol and other state buildings instructing unvaccinated people to wear masks. We should not engage in discriminatory actions like this.

By now, those who wish to be vaccinated have had the opportunity to be vaccinated, we do not need to treat unvaccinated individuals differently or publicly shame them. We also do not need to protect them because they have made their choices knowing full well the risks involved.


Scott E. Allen

Allen says he has not heard back from the Department of Administration nor has he seen the signs come down. DOA did not comment as to what will happen with the bathroom signs.

Rep. Allen: State Capitol bathrooms are inhospitable was originally published by Wisconsin Examiner.

7 thoughts on “State Capitol Discriminates, Legislator Charges”

  1. frank a schneiger says:

    Rep. Allen appears to be a student at The Marjorie Taylor Greene College of Historic Analogies. Comparing Covid mask wearing to the nation’s history of racial segregation may not be quite as bad as Greene’s comparing it to The Holocaust, but it’s in the same ballpark. Like Greene, Allan’s appeal is to the Republican base of bigots who want to deny their bigotry. Hey look, we’re against all oppression, anti-Semitism, racism and mask requirements. It’s all the same thing, right?

    And then there’s the other right-wing favorite: personal freedom equals the unfettered right to define the risks we are willing to take, including those we impose on others. So, here’s a question for Mr. Allen who takes that position: aren’t drunk driving laws just the same as mask rules, racial segregation and The Holocaust? Aren’t those people, the drunk drivers, knowing the risk to themselves, entitled to make their own choices, regardless of the risks they pose to others? After all, isn’t freedom of movement as important as freedom to use the toilet in the Capitol building without being treated like a Black man in the segregationist South or a Jew in the Third Reich?

  2. Joe Duehmig says:

    So having a sign saying “No Smoking” in a room full of gasoline is “discrimination”? Hanging a sign across ice covered steps is “discrimination”? Being afraid to wear a mask does not mean you’re being discriminated against. It just means you’re afraid.

  3. tornado75 says:

    please rep. allen don’t wear a mask. don’t have non-vaccinated people, who support you, wear a mask. please don’t support healthy behavior and then wait, wait for it——ta da covid 19 illness. many, many people died from this disease, why risk it by not wearing a mask, but please don’t wear a mask.

  4. mkwagner says:

    Yes, Rep Scott, the DOA’s signs are discriminatory. So is asking people to stay home when they highly communicable diseases such as measles, mumps, pertussis, and pneumonia. It is discriminatory because these people pose a danger to others. There is nothing in the constitution or bill of rights that protects people who are a danger to others.

    I ask Rep. Scott to take his head out of the sand and recognize that 600,000 Americans and over 7,000 Wisconsinites have died of COVID. Many, many more suffer from long term effects. Then there are those whose immune system are seriously compromised just like a number of YOUR colleagues. We simply do not know enough about how this virus attacks the human body to casually dismiss it.

    So Rep. Scott from Waukesha, do not those who have already suffered due to COVID as well as those at risk, also have rights? Whose rights should prevail? Is the right to ignore the well being of others trump the right to live?

  5. tornado75 says:

    totally agree with mkwagner.

  6. Kmichel says:

    Dear Rep. Scott,
    We should not be hospitable to people who refuse to consider all the people’s health and well-being in the People’s Capitol. Whether or not they are aware of the risks is immaterial. The folks who feel unwelcome are unwelcome if they refuse to wear a mask. Personally, I am more concerned with the health of my grandson, who has T1D and is too young to be vaccinated, and all the people who face existential threats from the pathogens being spread by pathetic freedom from masks fighters.

  7. GodzillakingMKE says:

    What an idiot.

Leave a Reply

You must be an Urban Milwaukee member to leave a comment. Membership, which includes a host of perks, including an ad-free website, tickets to marquee events like Summerfest, the Wisconsin State Fair and the Florentine Opera, a better photo browser and access to members-only, behind-the-scenes tours, starts at $9/month. Learn more.

Join now and cancel anytime.

If you are an existing member, sign-in to leave a comment.

Have questions? Need to report an error? Contact Us