If proponents of Arizona's controversial "religious freedom" legislation were looking for outside support, they can add Minnesota Republican Rep. Michele Bachmann to their roster.
Following in Iowa Republican Rep. Steve King's footsteps, Bachmann told conservative radio host Lars Larson during in an interview on March 6 at the Conservative Political Action Conference that the gay community drew unnecessary attention over the Arizona bill, SB 1062. Gov. Jan Brewer, a Republican, vetoed the legislation last month.
"There's nothing about gays in there, but the gay community decided to make this their measure," Bachmann said in the interview, which was posted online by Right Wing Watch. "And the thing that I think is getting a little tiresome is the gay community have so bullied the American people and they have so intimidated politicians that politicians fear them and they think they get to dictate the agenda everywhere. Well, not with the Constitution you don't."
The bill would have opened the door to discrimination against gay and lesbian individuals based on religious beliefs. Supporters of the bill argued that business owners should have the right to exercise their freedom of religion by turning away gay and lesbian customers.
Bachmann added, "If you want to take away my religious liberties, you can advocate for that, but you do it through the constitutional process. You don't intimidate, and no politician should give away my religious liberties or yours."
The Minnesota congresswoman's opposition to LGBT rights is nothing new. After her home state passed a bill last year to legalize gay marriage, Bachmann tweeted, "I'm proud to have introduced the original traditional marriage amendment, and I thank all Minnesotans who have worked so hard on this issue." Minnesota became the 12th state in the nation, and the first Midwest state, to legalize same-sex marriage.