Gov. Evers slams anti-LGBTQ bills, predicts GOP governor will ban books

NOW: Gov. Evers slams anti-LGBTQ bills, predicts GOP governor will ban books

MADISON, Wis. (CBS 58) -- As many kickoff celebrations for Pride Month, some are worried about the future holds for LGBTQ rights as numerous state legislators, including Wisconsin, have introduced anti-LGBTQ bills.

From prohibiting transgender athletes from playing on sports teams to allowing parents to sue school districts over lessons about sexual orientation and gender identity, all are measures Republicans have proposed in Wisconsin.

None of these bills reached Democratic Gov. Tony Evers' desk, but it does give a glimpse into what Republicans might try to do if Evers loses reelection this fall.

Since May, over 320 anti-LGBTQ bills have been introduced in state legislatures nationwide, according to the Human Rights Campaign. It's a growing trend that leaves many in the LGBTQ community fearful about what could happen in Wisconsin.

"It's an awful situation and a shame for our young people or anyone to be not accepted for who they are," said Andrew Graham-Capelle, from Milwaukee. "It's so sad as a parent to have these conversations when there's so much else going on in the world we have to navigate."

During the pride flag raising ceremony at the State Capitol, Evers said he's concerned if Wisconsin elects a Republican governor LGBTQ rights will likely be at risk.

"Any efforts we've made on the LGBTQ community could be rolled back," Evers said.

Evers predicts LGBTQ literature in schools will be targeted next when referencing efforts by some Republican who are seeking to ban books, according to Wisconsin Examiner.

"This legislature and a Republican governor would be banning books in the state of Wisconsin. It's breathtaking," Evers said. "You can be damn sure some of it's going to be directly related to the LGBTQ community."

Since 2019, Evers has ordered the rainbow flag to be flown at state buildings. It marked the first time in state history which, Evers said, was designed to make Wisconsin a welcoming and inclusive place for all.

This year, a Progress Pride Flag will be flown -- but it could be the last time as some of Evers' Republican challengers are against it.

A spokesman for Rebecca Kleefisch, a Republican running for governor, said she "will not use flags over the Capitol as political props."

Kevin Nicholson told the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel the only flags he would fly over the Capitol are the U.S. flag, the Wisconsin flag and the flag honoring prisoners of war and those missing in action.

Other Republicans in the race State Rep. Tim Ramthun and construction business owner Tim Michels didn't return messages for comment.

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