Rep Steve King (R-Iowa) told Family Research Council’s Tony Perkins that the Employment Non-Discrimination Act would allow gays to harass employers.
The Republican congressman argued that the Act is not necessary if gays and transvestites would just appear straight.
At the Iowa Independent, Jason Hancock notes, King “told a story about his days in the Iowa Senate, when gay activists came to lobby a fellow Republican lawmaker, state Sen. Jerry Behn of Boone, for protected status for sexual orientation and gender identity.”
He said, Ã¢â‚¬Å“Let me ask you a question. Am I heterosexual or homosexual?Ã¢â‚¬Â And they looked him up and down Ã¢â‚¬â€ and actually they should have known Ã¢â‚¬â€ but they said Ã¢â‚¬Å“We donÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t know.Ã¢â‚¬Â And he said Ã¢â‚¬Å“Exactly my point. If you donÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t project it, if you donÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t advertise it, how would anyone know to discriminate against you?Ã¢â‚¬Â And thatÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s at the basis of this.
If people wear their sexuality on their sleeve, then they want to bring litigation against someone that they would point their finger at and say Ã¢â‚¬Å“you discriminate,Ã¢â‚¬Â it is an entrapment that is legalized by the ENDA Act, it appears to, and its a violation of the individual rights of employers to, at their own discretion, decide who they want to hire and who they want to fire. We donÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t need more federal mandates. And we surely donÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t need a political statement, and thatÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s what this is, too. This is the homosexual activist lobby taking it out on the rest of society. They are demanding affirmation for their lifestyle. ThatÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s at the bottom of this.
“The LGBT blog ‘Good As You’ took exception to KingÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s portrayal of ENDA,” Hancock noted.
The LGBT blog blasted King as “a man who seems to get more homo-hostile with every passing year (and bill).”
If these folks are going to keep holding such offensive outlooks in regards to a rich, vibrant, sizable portion of normalcy’s spectrum, then it’s way past time that we start calling out their agenda for exactly what it is. In print, on the web, on TV, to their faces, on the floor of Congress. A staunch, principled message delivered directly to the eye: “Your work is harming the good of the world, and it’s time you stop it RIGHT NOW! Go find all of the other reasons you can and will to deny LGBT people from working in your offices — we know you will anyway. But stop foisting your “culture war” views on those of us who never signed up for such a senseless fight!”
At Huffington Post, Alvin McEwan argues, “Closets are for clothes, not for people.”
What he, Perkins, and some others want to forget (and subsequently wants everyone else to forget) is that our lgbt identities encompass more than sex acts. We have lives, relationships, and families; none of which we should have to hide to suit the mindsets of ignorant folks who think that homosexuality is encompassed by a mere sex act that one takes care of in a secluded place between going to the grocery store and picking up the laundry.
The lgbt community has evolved beyond that nonsense. And if an lgbt wants to put a picture of his/her partner or his family on his/her desk, there should be no fear of reprisal. If an lgbt wants to talk about his/her partner, there should be no fear of reprisal. No lgbt should have to worry about reprisal for doing the same thing that many heterosexuals do on the job.
You see that’s what it’s about – the ability to be open about our lives and our families without fear, just like everybody else.
What King is saying is that lgbts should place ourselves in a psychological closet so as not to interfere with the worldview that he and others have about such things as family.
Transcript of interview follows:
PERKINS: Congressman King, let’s step back a moment for those that may be listening for the first time or heard about ENDA. It’s actually called the Employment Non-Discrimination Act. I don’t use that title. Because usually the titles here in Washington, DC — if it says one thing it actually means another. They’re very deceptive in their labeling of these bills. What this would do — and I want you to explain this further to our listeners — is that this would set up under the Equal Employment Commission, the EOC, the ability to impose this prohibition against not hiring someone, as you mentioned, based upon their sexual orientation or perceived sexual orientation. So under this bill, theoretically someone could come in and dress one day as a woman or a man, the next day of the job they come in the opposite sex and an employer would be helpless to do anything about it. But what’s really onerous about this is that there is limited exemptions — no exemptions actually — for Christian businesses. There is limited exemptions for Christian ministries. Some are fearful that this could be used as a tool of harassment against conservative businesses.
KING: Well, Tony, I can imagine someone coming in and interviewing one day in a man’s clothes and come back the next day and apply for a job in a woman’s clothes and then setting up a lawsuit in a sting operation that could harass especially a religious organization but anybody. Anybody that’s operating in a responsible fashion and, you know, I just go back to this incident that took place when I was in the Iowa Senate. Gay activists who would come and lobby about once a year and out Senator Jerry Behn. He sat next to me for years and he had four or five of the students at the University of Iowa lobbying him to provide special protective status for sexual orientation & gender identity, the Iowa [inaudible] Act they were trying to pass. He said, “Let me ask you a question. He said, am I heterosexual or am I homosexual?” And they looked him up and down and actually they should have known but they said, “We don’t know.” And he said, “Exactly my point.” If you don’t project it, if you don’t advertise it how would anyone know to discriminate against you. And that’s the basis of this. If people wear their sexuality on their sleeve and then they want to bring litigation against someone that they would point their finger at and say, “You discriminate.” It is an entrapment that is legalized by the ENDA Act — appears to. And it’s a violation of the individual rights of employers to, at their own discretion, decide who they want to hire and who they want to fire. We do not need more federal mandates and we surely don’t need a political statement and that’s what this is too. This is the homosexual activist lobby taking it out on the rest of society and they are demanding affirmation for their lifestyle and that’s at the bottom of this.
This audio is from Family Research Council, uploaded May 11, 2010.