Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell? Don’t Work.
It appears that Iowa Republican Steve King is strongly suggesting that if you’re sexual preference is anything other than straight, you should not inform your boss or co-workers or clients at all in order to spare the job creators of the awful, intolerable hell of having to deal with laws that protect employees from being fired solely for sexual preference.
Here’s his conversation on sexual orientation at the workplace with Think Progress’s Scott Keyes:
KEYES: Would that encompass, for instance, the government being able to tell businesses who they can hire and fire?
KING: Yeah, they shouldn’t be able to do that [to] a private business.
KEYES: Even if those were to be regulations say on a matter of sexual orientation or gender or other stuff like that?
KING: How do you know someone’s sexual orientation? I don’t know how you discriminate against someone because of their sexual orientation. That’s their business.
KEYES: I guess if it became public knowledge that an employee were lesbian or gay.
KING: You have private sector businesses here and they need to have freedom to operate. 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.
So yes, apparently the solution for LGBT equality in the workplace is for everyone to go back into the closet and institute Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell because if employers don’t know you’re gay, then nobody can fired for being gay, so we don’t need laws protecting gays. Problem solved!
If gay people didn’t exist, in other words, there would be no need for the government to protect them. Awesome. And this is a member of Congress saying this, ladies and gentlemen, who is on the House Judiciary Committee and the Judiciary’s Subcommittee on the Constitution who is making this argument.
So frankly, I don’t want to hear a word about how President Obama is an “ignoramus” or a “moron” when it comes to legal affairs (or anything else for that matter) when the Republican alternative includes people making laws who believe actually ignorant things like this about how the laws they craft should work.
Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell for your workplace? Yes, let’s put everyone back in the closet. While we’re at it, let’s all go to work in giant featureless hermetically sealed sacks so that we don’t have to tell anyone if we’re black, Asian, Latino, female, tall, short, or whatever too. What King really wants is for the LGBT community to simply stop existing so that he doesn’t have to deal with it.
Pretty sure that’s not going to happen.