Rep. Steve King (R-OH) on Wednesday said that LGBT individuals could hide their sexual orientation from employers to prevent being unjustly terminated.
“How do you know someone’s sexual orientation?” he said in response to a question by Think Progress reporter Scott Keyes. “I don’t know how you discriminate against someone because of their sexual orientation. That’s their business.”
“I guess if it became public knowledge that an employee were lesbian or gay,” Keyes responded.
“You have private sector businesses here and they need to have freedom to operate,” King replied. “In the first place, I would think that unless someone makes their sexuality public, it’s not anybody’s business, so neither is it our business to tell an employer who to hire. He won’t know who to discriminate against in the first place.”
Openly gay applicants are 40 percent less likely to be granted an interview than their heterosexual counterparts, according to a study published last year in the American Journal of Sociology.
There is no federal law that protects LGBT individuals from employment discrimination, and only 21 states have laws that prohibit discrimination in the workplace based on a person’s sexual orientation.
Watch video, courtesy of Think Progress, below: