Steve King can solve anti-gay discrimination

STEVE KING CAN SOLVE ANTI-GAY DISCRIMINATION…. Rep. Steve King (R), a right-wing lawmaker from Iowa, chatted the other day with the Family Research Council’s Tony Perkins, about ENDA. Not surprisingly, the far-right leaders were concerned about new employment protections for the LGBT community.

But King said he knows how to resolve the problem of workplace discrimination without passing new legal protections.

King then 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, “Let me ask you a question. Am I heterosexual or 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 at the basis of this.

I see. So, as King sees it, if gay people would just stay in the closet, and stop “projecting” their gayness, then homophobic employers would be unable to fire them based on nothing but their sexual orientation.

Discreet gays could keep their jobs, and the problem would be solved.

Isn’t Steve King clever? And to think, I’ve been accusing him of being a deranged fool for years. Don’t I feel embarrassed now.

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Steve Benen

Steve Benen is a producer at MSNBC's The Rachel Maddow Show. He was the principal contributor to the Washington Monthly's Political Animal blog from August 2008 until January 2012.