Speaking yesterday at a campaign event in Iowa, Sen. Rand Paul declared that he’s OK with people being fired for being gay. Chris Johnson reports at the Washington Blade:
The U.S. senator from Kentucky, who’s been at the bottom of the polls in the Republican primary, made the remarks in response to a question at a campaign stop at Drake University in Iowa. “I think really the things you do in your house, if you could just leave those in your house, they wouldn’t have to be part of the workplace, to tell you the truth,” Paul replied. The candidate continued to say the question of whether employers can fire someone for being gay is “difficult” because making additional protected classes would enable LGBT people to sue employers. “I don’t know that we need to keep adding to different classifications to say the government needs to be involved in hiring and firing,” Paul said. “I think society is rapidly changing, and if you are gay, there are plenty of places that will hire you.” Concluding his response, Paul said the vast majority of companies have already instituted non-discrimination policies on their own volition and the government shouldn’t be more involved on the issue.
The Human Rights Campaign reacts:
“Rand Paul appears to be living in a different era. People should not be required to live in the closet or hide who they are in order to be treated equally and fairly under the law,” said JoDee Winterhof, HRC Senior Vice President for Policy and Political Affairs. “Rand Paul is going to find very little support for his views among the nine out of ten Americans who have an LGBT person in their lives. But Rand Paul’s comments do beg the question of whether his fellow candidates will call him out for embracing a platform of discrimination.”
Also unhappy is Log Cabin Republicans head Gregory Angelo: “This is hardly the libertarian Rand Paul who struck a chord with so many Millennials at the outset of his campaign. It’s also not the Rand Paul I met with to discuss non-discrimination legislation in the 113th Congress. A truly baffling statement — not to mention absurd.”