One Wisconsin Now
Press Release

Brian Hagedorn Was Paid By Hate Group While Serving as a Judge

State Supreme Court Candidate Took Thousands in Payments and Gifts From Group That Advocates and Litigates for Hate and Discrimination

By - Feb 20th, 2019 01:05 pm
Brian Hagedorn. Photo courtesy of the Friends of Brian Hagedorn.

Brian Hagedorn. Photo courtesy of the Friends of Brian Hagedorn.

MADISON, Wis. — A bombshell media report reveals State Supreme Court candidate Brian Hagedorn was paid thousands of dollars by an anti-LGBTQ hate group that wants to criminalize homosexuality while he was a judge. According to media reports based on information uncovered by One Wisconsin Now, Hagedorn received income or gifts from the right wing Alliance Defending Freedom, classified as a hate group, by the Southern Poverty Law Center from 2015 through 2018.

“The most basic job of a judge is to make sure everyone is treated equally before the law,” said One Wisconsin Now Research Director Joanna Beilman-Dulin. “Brian Hagedorn has shown he can’t be trusted to do that job. While serving as a judge, he took money and gifts from a group that blatantly advocates for and litigates for hate and discrimination.”

As reported by the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel:

“State Supreme Court candidate Brian Hagedorn received more than $3,000 over three years for giving speeches to a legal organization that has supported criminalizing sodomy and sterilizing transgender people.”

In 2016 the Alliance Defending Freedom was 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.”

Hagedorn’s involvement with the hate group goes much deeper than just taking money and gifts from them. During law school, Hagedorn interned for the Alliance Defense Fund (now called the Alliance Defending Freedom) and described the group as “formed to fight the culture wars” in his own writings.

Beilman-Dulin noted that throughout his career Hagedorn has proven to be a loyal ADF soldier:

“ … the group represented those suing over a 2009 Wisconsin law that allowed same-sex couples to form domestic partnerships that gave them some of the rights of married couples. As legal counsel for GOP Gov. Scott Walker in 2011, Hagedorn refused to defend the domestic partnership law. Others argued in the domestic partnership law’s favor and in 2014, the state Supreme Court unanimously upheld it.”

“Brian Hagedorn can hold his views, as vile and discriminatory as they may be. He is not entitled to use the courts to impose those views on the rest of us, but the evidence continues to pile up that is exactly what he would do.”

One Wisconsin Now is a statewide communications network specializing in effective earned media and online organizing to advance progressive leadership and values.

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