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Religious right organizations are targeting Minnesota Republican Reps. Tom Emmer and Erik Paulsen, along with 41 other Republicans, after a vote to include LGBT nondiscrimination into a water and energy bill last week.

On Wednesday, an energy and water spending bill failed to pass the House after an amendment was passed to prohibit discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity in federal contracting. The amendment was offered by Rep. Sean Maloney, a Democrat from New York, and Reps. Emmer and Paulsen were among 43 other Republicans who voted to pass it. The energy and water spending bill eventually failed, though Emmer and Paulsen voted to pass it.

A week later, the criticism from conservative Christian organizations — who have largely been supportive of Emmer and Paulsen — have set their sites on the two Congressmen.

Longtime anti-LGBTQ activist Maggie Gallagher called them “Republican Traitors” in a piece for the conservative National Review. Gallagher, who is best known for her activism with the anti-LGBTQ National Organization for Marriage, went after Rep. Emmer directly:

Tom Emmer was the Republican nominee for governor of Minnesota when a GOP-controlled state legislature elected to put the question of gay marriage to voters. Even though the state’s electorate actually approved gay marriage, Emmer lost his race, and was treated as a pariah in certain circles. Hamline University withdrew an offer to let him teach when faculty complained about his “bigotry.” Apparently he has learned his lesson. (I called Emmer’s office and asked for an explanation of his vote but have received no response.)

The National Organization for Marriage has promised an ad campaign targeting the 43 Republicans who voted for the amendment, including Emmer and Paulsen. In an email, titled “Gutless House Republicans Betray Christians and People of Faith” the group said, “we’re planning an intense, targeted online advertising campaign to educate the constituents of these 43 Republican members of Congress about their representative’s vote.”

The Minnesota Child Protection League went after them on Facebook: “Two MN Republicans supported this horrid amendment: Tom Emmer and Erik Paulsen The main bill went on to be defeated. However, these Members of Congress need to hear from you in a big way. Don’t take their spin.”

Concerned Women for America also jumped on the bandwagon: “It starts just like any other nefarious plan, “In the dead of night,” the group wrote. “If your congressman is on this list, he should hear from you. Tell him you are incredibly disappointed to hear he chose to side with President Obama and the transgender agenda against women and children’s safety.”

(The Concerned Women appeared to not notice the half-dozen Republican women who also voted for the amendment)

The American Family Association issued an email that read, in part: “It is a shame that a Republican led Congress is forcing Obama’s radical agenda down the American people’s throat.”

“43 Sellout Republicans Support Obama’s Transgender Agenda,” an email from the Traditional Values Coalition blared. “Enough is enough ­– it’s time to name names and call these losers out.”

Emmer and Paulsen also took heat from the Carver County GOP. Part of Carver County lies in his district.

Below are the emails referenced in this report:

NOM

Download (PDF, 712KB)

AFA

Download (PDF, 699KB)

TVC

Download (PDF, 408KB)

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Andy Birkey

Andy Birkey has written for a number of Minnesota and national publications. He founded Eleventh Avenue South which ran from 2002-2011, wrote for the Minnesota Independent from 2006-2011, the American Independent from 2010-2013. His writing has appeared in The Advocate, The Star Tribune, The Huffington Post, Salon, Cagle News Service, Twin Cities Daily Planet, TheUptake, Vita.mn and much more. His writing on LGBT issues, the religious right and social justice has won awards including Best Beat Reporting by the Online News Association, Best Series by the Minnesota chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists, and an honorable mention by the Sex-Positive Journalism awards.

1 COMMENT

  1. Let’s get this straight: these 43 Republicans have voted to protect the right of men who claim a female “identity” to use the women’s restroom and showers. Well religious right the attorney general of the US stated that WE TRANS are Women, Live as Women, work as Women, Study as Women, and your ignorance of this is coming to an end. These are statements that follow modern Medical Science These 43 are the real Republicans of years ago not the mendacious mass we have today in the USA. They, the religious right are obfuscating the Constitution’s rule of Separation of Church and State. There was, and is a reason for that rule that worked fine for 200 years, and now it is being challenged by Bigots of Zero Integrity. What they are doing is against our Constitution, and Christianity, by what Christ was Teaching, and living. Modern Republicans = Modern Bigots.

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