Wisconsin Lawmakers Must Defeat Dangerous Attack on Local Attempts to Protect LGBTQ Residents

By Shane Stahl • February 7, 2018 • 12:56 pm

Newly proposed legislation in Wisconsin has been introduced this week, and its intention is clear – to interfere with local communities’ attempts to protect LGBTQ people from discrimination.

Bills AB748 and SB634 would prevent local governments from enacting their own policies for local communities and strip away existing citywide employment non-discrimination protections. AB748 will be heard in the Assembly Committee on Local Government today, February 7, while SB634 advanced out of committee last week.

Freedom For All Americans has joined groups including Fair Wisconsin, the ACLU, and the Human Rights Campaign in issuing a statement against legislation currently moving through the Wisconsin state legislature.

In the statement Freedom for All Americans CEO Masen Davis said:

“Preemption is a power grab, and irresponsibly broad legislation like this puts growing economies at risk. When state lawmakers prevent communities from passing economic policies that work for them, including ordinances that protect LGBTQ people from discrimination, they hinder economic growth and development. Not only would this bill put Wisconsin out of step with the rest of the country, it would prohibit its cities from being able to compete for the best jobs and retain the best talent. We urge the Wisconsin legislature to avoid turning the clock back on Wisconsin and to reject this dangerous legislation.”

The bills would render communities powerless in enacting their own local policies regarding such issues as unfair labor practices, minimum wage increases, and non-discrimination protections for LGBTQ people. The proposals would also void parts of existing LGBTQ non-discrimination protections in cities like Madison and Milwaukee. The bills’ language is eerily similar to that of North Carolina’s infamous HB 2, which openly discriminated against transgender people and ended up costing the state $329 billion in lost revenue.

View all current legislation regarding LGBTQ non-discrimination with the Freedom For All Americans Legislation Tracker, found here.

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