Wisconsin Congressman Mark Pocan addressed his colleague’s criticism of LGBT earmarks in the 2022 omnibus bill. 

Representative Chip Roy of Texas called out numerous “woke pet projects” in the appropriations bill, passed by Congress just before Christmas. A $250,000 earmark for the Our Lives Media, Inc. project of Madison, Wisconsin made it on Roy’s “ridiculous” list of “terrible earmarks NO REPUBLICAN should vote for.”

Roy subsequently blasted the projects on the House floor and on his social media accounts. Trolling comments on Twitter were especially concerning for Pocan. 

“Hate-filled threads like this are EXACTLY why the LGBTQ+ community is under threat and so dedicated to telling our story and providing safe spaces to all. Love will win out, Chip — be better,” Pocan tweeted. 

An out gay man, Pocan has represented Wisconsin’s Second Congressional District since 2013. The Democrat serves as co-chair of the Congressional LGBT Equality Caucus and made the request for the Our Lives project to the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA).

Under a National Historic Publications & Records account, NARA will commission a grant in the name of the late Dick Wagner, who laid the groundwork for Wisconsin’s first gay and lesbian inclusive non-discrimination law.

The project was included in the bill’s Division E section under Financial Services and General Government Appropriations. Also included in Division E are $4 million for federal HIV/AIDS testing and treatment services and $55 million for the construction of a new federal courthouse in Fort Lauderdale.

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