Republicans in Wisconsin voted Wednesday (16 March) to honour the late anti-LGBT+ radio host Rush Limbaugh, who died last month aged 70.
Just after striking down efforts to introduce Black history to schools, the Assembly moved to pay tribute to Limbaugh, who once ran a segment on his show that celebrated the deaths of queer folk of AIDS all to the tune of disco hits.
They voted 56-35 to pass the resolution to “honour the life and commemorate the career of Rush Limbaugh”.
Senators on Tuesday (15 March) voted 18-12 – with just two Republicans not voting, according to Channel 3000 –
The Republican-controled legislature did so after turning down a Democrat-led push to require public schools to teach the Holocaust and other genocidal events in human history.
They also shrugged off a Black History Month resolution that last month after reaching a stalemate on who to honour.
Democrats in both chamber reacted with frustration and disappointment at the move.
“The Republicans have issues with who we as a Black body choose to honour, but yet we have to sit in this body and honour somebody like Rush Limbaugh who was a homophobic, xenophobic racist,” said senator LaTonya Johnson.
While senator Jon Erpenbach tweeted: “Honouring an oppressor while being critical of the oppressed is not a good look for someone that co-chairs a task force on racial equity.”
In a press conference held after the vote, assembly speaker Robin Vos took aim at the Republican lawmakers for their perceived transparency in priorities.
Wisconsin’s Democratic Party chair Ben Wikler took aim at the Republicans in a statement Tuesday denouncing the resolution.
“Make no mistake: the GOP effort to lionize Rush Limbaugh is a naked attempt to legitimize the race-baiting and fear-mongering that Limbaugh pioneered and that Donald Trump built his political career upon,” he said.
“By honoring Rush Limbaugh on the floor of the Wisconsin State Senate, Republicans are once again showing us exactly who they are, and we should believe them.”
It comes after the Republican governor of Florida sparked backlash when he announced that the state’s flags would be flown at half mast for the funeral of Limbaugh.
In Rush Limbaugh’s long career in broadcasting, his homophobic barbs were beamed out to more than 650 stations. And there were many.
He rallied against marriage equality, compared gay people to “paedophiles“, called being trans a “psychological disorder” and defended Ronald Reagan’s response to the AIDS epidemic, among many other belittling and blistering comments.