Would Antidiscrimination Law Matter? Gay Republican Says No
BY Lucas Grindley
September 13 2011 7:00 PM ET
Republicans who are gay often make the same argument that one local Log Cabin Republican president did during Michelangelo Signorile's radio show before being backed into a corner, where he suddenly found himself defending discrimination against black people.
"What I do when I evaluate a candidate, I look at what's feasible," said Robert Schlein, president of the group's Dallas chapter.
And so Schlein argued that no matter what Republican presidential candidates say, they won't amend to the Constitution to ban same-sex marriage because it would be too hard. Asked about his own governor — Rick Perry — signing a pledge from the National Organization for Marriage, Schlein dismissed it as just another case of "placating" social conservatives.
Then Schlein took his argument that Republicans are harmless on gay rights to the next level by claiming the party is better on issues where, he says, change might actually be feasible — such as on national security, Social Security, and the economy.
"What good are rights if you don't have a job?" asked Schlein.
When radio host Signorile, who is an Advocate contributor, pointed out that LGBT people aren't protected from workplace discrimination and could easily lose any job, Schlein said antidiscrimination laws don't matter either.
"Texas is a right-to-work state. So as an employer, which I am, I can fire anybody at will," he claimed.
"You cannot fire somebody for being African-American," Signorile objected.
"Well, I wouldn’t tell them," Schlein said.
"You wouldn’t tell them, but you’d do it anyway?" Signorile asked.
"I’d find a reason if I wanted to fire them," Schlein said, defending discrimination against black people while trying to prove an antidiscrimination law would make no difference to LGBT people.
The debate is making the rounds on the Web. Listen below.