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Wisconsin Watch partners with Gigafact to produce fact briefs — bite-sized fact checks of trending claims. Read our methodology to learn how we check claims.


Before he was elected to Congress in 2022, Rep. Derrick Van Orden confronted employees at Prairie du Chien Memorial Library over an LGBTQ+ Pride Month display in the children’s section. 

Van Orden, a Republican representing Wisconsin’s 3rd U.S. congressional district, visited the library on June 17, 2021, and questioned staff about the display. He said the books, including “A Day in the Life of Marlon Bundo,” presented “incorrect” information, the La Crosse Tribune reported. Library staff described his demeanor as “upset.”

Van Orden checked out almost all of the LGBTQ+-themed books before returning them less than a week later. He also filed a statement of concern about one of the books. 

Other Prairie du Chien residents also made written and verbal complaints about the display. Van Orden issued a statement expressing his support for equal rights for all Americans, including LGBTQ+ people.

This Fact Brief is responsive to conversations such as this one.


Milwaukee Journal Sentinel Congressional candidate Derrick Van Orden confronted teen library staffer over Gay Pride display

La Crosse Tribune Library staff felt ‘threatened’ after GOP candidate complained about Pride Month display

AP News Library worker: Candidate was irate over gay books display

People Wisconsin library worker says Republican candidate threatened her over Gay Pride book display

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Jacob Alabab-Moser joined as Wisconsin Watch’s fact checker in September 2022, as part of the effort by The Gigafact Project in partnership with different state-level news outlets to combat misinformation in the 2022 midterm elections. Jacob has several years of experience as a fact checker and research assistant at a variety of organizations, including at The Gigafact Project. He holds a BA from Brown University and is pursuing a MSc from the London School of Economics and Political Science.