Republican Congressional Candidate Derrick Van Orden Accosted Teen Over Gay Pride Display

by Emell Adolphus

EDGE Media Network Contributor

Tuesday August 24, 2021

 Derrick Van Orden in a screenshot from a campaign ad.
Derrick Van Orden in a screenshot from a campaign ad.  (Source:YouTube)

Republican congressional candidate Derrick Van Orden accosted teenage library staffer over a gay pride display and terrified her in the process, reported the Associated Press.

Kerrigan Trautsch, a staffer at a southwestern Wisconsin library, recounted that Van Orden came in June 17, 2021, and complained loudly about a display of fiction and nonfiction books about homosexuality in the children's section.

"His voice was loud, he was aggressive, he had his finger jabbing into (the book) constantly," Trautsch remebered, describing the incident as "very uncomfortable, threatening."

Trautsch, 17 at the time, said the book that particularly set him off was a 2018 book, "A Day in the Life of Marlon Bundo."

"The 40-page book put out by John Oliver's weekly HBO news show, 'Last Week Tonight,' tells the fictional story of how Marlon Bundo, former Vice President Mike Pence's real-life rabbit, marries another rabbit of the same sex," reports AP. "Van Orden repeatedly demanded to know who set up the display so he could "teach them a lesson."

Afraid and shaken, Trautsch said Van Oden felt taxpayers shouldn't have to see the books. "He was full-on shouting at this point and he kept aggressively shoving the books around," she said.

According to a complaint that Van Orden filed at the library, he claimed that the books were propaganda and was "skewing young people to think Republicans are not inclusive."

"I was terrified that he would be outside, that there were be a collection of people outside waiting for me, waiting for anyone else," Trautsch said. "We were terrified."

Van Orden reportedly checked out every book from the display except one a library patron was already reading.

Van Orden issued a statement in response to the incident saying that he said supports equal rights for all Americans, including members of the LGBTQ community.

"It is 2021 and this should not have to be stated but there are people who continue to divide us as Americans for political purposes," he said. "I will not allow them to further degrade the relationships we have as citizens."

Sure, Van.

Van Orden lost after challenging Democratic U.S. Rep. Ron Kind for his seat representing western Wisconsin's 3rd Congressional District in 2020. However, he plans to run for the seat again in 2022.