By Advocate.com Editors
Originally published on Advocate.com March 20 2003 1:00 AM ET
A Marshall, Minn., attorney will represent Minnesota state representative Arlon Lindner at no cost in the lawmaker's defense against a complaint by colleagues who say Lindner's recent comments--questioning whether gay people were persecuted during the Nazi Holocaust--have offended African-Americans and gay people. Democratic lawmakers filed an ethics complaint against Lindner last week, alleging that his remarks, questioning whether homosexuals were persecuted by the Nazis, have brought disrepute to the state house of representatives.
"These phony ethics charges don't even rise to the level of silly," said the attorney, James R. Anderson. "This misuse of the house ethics process is intended solely to intimidate Arlon into dropping his defense of Minnesota Christians who oppose liberal efforts to promote the homosexual agenda, which targets certain Christian religious beliefs."
Lindner first made the remarks about homosexuals while discussing a bill of his that would repeal a state's human rights amendment protecting gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgendered Minnesotans from discrimination in employment, housing, education, and other areas. His bill also would remove sexual orientation as a protected classification in hate-crimes laws. Lindner defended his statements about gay people on the floor last week, then offended the house's two black members when he said he didn't want to "sit around here and wait until America becomes another African continent" concerning AIDS and other sexually transmitted diseases.
The ethics complaint alleges that Lindner's words violate house rules prohibiting conduct that "violates accepted norms of house behavior" and "tends to bring the house into dishonor or disrepute."