On Sept. 14, Republican primary voters chose what may be the most extreme ticket for governor and lieutenant governor in recent Wisconsin history.
We already know that the gubernatorial nominee, Milwaukee County Executive Scott Walker, will say and do anything to win an election. This includes taking positions against the LGBT community in order to satisfy his extreme right-wing base.
But Walker is a notoriously cynical politician who will adopt any position to further his career. His running mate Rebecca Kleefisch, however, is a bona fide right-wing religious zealot.
It should be disconcerting enough that Republicans nominated someone with zero experience in governing or an ounce of credibility in public policy.
But it is even more troubling that they nominated someone so extreme. Predictably, Kleefisch singles out the LGBT community as one of the targets of her extremism.
Kleefisch was endorsed in the primary by the Wisconsin Family Action Network, which is the same group that pushed the 2006 constitutional amendment against marriage equality. This is an organization that lobbied legislators against student bullying legislation because they were concerned LGBT organizations may have had input on it.
In response to a Wisconsin Family Action Network questionnaire, Kleefisch saidt she opposes the historic domestic partnership registry that was established last year, giving LGBT families 43 of the 200 rights that married couples receive. Some of those benefits include hospital visitation, the ability to take family medical leave and inheritance rights. Clearly if Kleefisch has her way, those rights would be ripped away.
Kleefisch has also come out against age-appropriate sex education. She believes solely in abstinence-only programs. Kleefisch has repeatedly stated that she wants her girls to hear about “the birds and the bees” from their parents and not from someone like openly gay state Rep. Mark Pocan.
Kleefisch says that she is “100 percent pro-life.” She is endorsed by Pro-Life Wisconsin, the state’s most extreme group on this issue. Her endorsement means that Kleefisch stands against women’s reproductive rights even in cases of rape and incest – and even when the mother’s life is in danger.
And although declaring to be “pro-life,” Kleefisch rejects the potentially life-saving possibilities of embryonic stem cell science.
The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reported before the primary that Kleefisch plans on using her conservative Christian principles and interpretation of the Bible when making decisions as a government official.In an interview on the notoriously anti-equality religious station WVCY, she declared that the state’s domestic partner registry is not only biblically wrong but that it leads to a slippery slope.She then goes on to ask, At what point would we allow marrying inanimate objects? Could I marry this table or this clock? How about a dog? This is ridiculous. Biblically, again marriage is between one man and one woman.
Rebecca Kleefisch has been using the slogan, “Rebecca for real” during her campaign. Given her positions, the LGBT community and fair-minded Wisconsin voters should adjust it to this unfortunate reality: “Rebecca’s too extreme … for real.”