Watch: Congressman Says Antigay Discrimination Doesn't Happen
BY Trudy Ring
May 11 2012 1:20 PM ET
Florida congressman Allen West says LGBT people don’t have to worry about discrimination — it doesn’t happen.
In an interview Thursday, Scott Keyes of the blog ThinkProgress asked West, a Tea Party-backed Republican, if he would support “a law that says that it’s illegal to hire or fire people because they’re gay.” West replied, “That don’t happen out here in the United States of America.” It’s not “a big issue with small businesses,” he said, citing tax policy and regulations as more important.
West’s statement, ThinkProgress notes, contradicts surveys that indicate between 8% and 17% of LGBT people have been fired because of their sexual orientation of gender identity, and that double that number have encountered some form of discrimination. Only 16 states have laws prohibiting employment discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender identity, and another five prohibit discrimination based on sexual orientation alone.
West has a history of inflammatory comments on LGBT issues and other matters. He said repeal of “don’t ask, don’t tell” was an attempt “to appease a very small special interest group” and was unnecessary because gay people “can change behavior.” He recently referred to members of the Congressional Progressive Caucus as “communists,” and last year he said Planned Parenthood and other feminist organizations are “neutering American men.”
Watch video of the ThinkProgress interview below.
- WATCH: One Gay Man's Touching Plea for Equality in Utah
- Op-ed: A Second Look at Bisexuality
- South Carolina Legislators Vote to Cut University Funding for Assigning LGBT Books
- Timothy Dolan Uncomfortable as Pope Calls for Study of Civil Unions
- Johnny and Tara at 30 Rock, Can't Stop With Play-By-Play
- Low-Income Apartment Complex for LGBT Seniors Opens in Philadelphia
- Politics South Carolina Legislators Vote to Cut University Funding for Assigning LGBT Books March 09 2014 4:46 PM
- Politics WATCH: One Gay Man's Touching Plea for Equality in Utah March 09 2014 3:09 PM
- Religion Uncomfortable: Timothy Dolan Versus Pope on Civil Unions March 09 2014 3:04 PM
- Politics WATCH: Low-Income Apartments for LGBT Seniors Open March 09 2014 1:49 PM
- Comedy Johnny and Tara at 30 Rock, Can't Stop With Play-By-Play March 09 2014 1:00 PM
- Comedy 8 Movies Made Better With 'Let It Go' March 09 2014 11:50 AM
- Film Gay-Helmed Sci-Fi Film Space Station 76 Debuts at SXSW March 08 2014 8:15 PM