Nothing says you've arrived as a freshly sworn in member of Congress like being named one of its most promising bigots.
That's the distinction bestowed upon Tom Emmer, our state's newly elected replacement for Michele Bachmann.
The Delano Republican, along with five other freshmen congressmen, were named to the "Faces of Inequality" list by the Human Rights Campaign (HRC), the 1.5 million member-strong civil rights group.
According to HRC, the six-pack was showcased because they "are some of the worst who have gone out of their way to stop equality, inspiring and propagating lies and hatred toward LGBT people across the country."
That would be Emmer all right.
He's the climate change-denying, minimum wage-repealing, hardcore pro-lifer who's brandished medieval civil rights views for as long as he's done the political jig.
Over the course of his career, Emmer, a former member of the Minnesota House and failed gubernatorial contestant, has directed his most vitriolic rhetoric at members of the LGBT community, saying, "The bottom line is this... [homosexuals] play the victim when they are, in fact, the predator. On average, they molest 117 people before they're found out. How many kids have been destroyed, how many adults have been destroyed because of crimes against nature?"
Emmer is particularly zealous in his belief that they're also unworthy of equal protection under the law.
He authored a constitutional amendment in 2007 that would prohibit same-sex marriage and civil unions. He repeatedly tried to exclude same-sex couples from legal and medical benefits.
But in Minnesota's 6th District -- our own Mississippi -- he still managed to squash Democrat Joe Perske by 18 points.
Emmer Chief of Staff David FitzSimmons shrugs off HRC's black-eyed honor, saying, "I see it, in the political game, as [HRC] wanting to make up a list of enemies, a list of political boogie men. It seems like it's a story they wanted to write."
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