By Sunnivie Brydum
Originally published on Advocate.com November 25 2013 1:41 PM ET
Wisconsin governor Scott Walker has told Bloomberg TV that he believes workplace protections for LGBT people can peacefully coexist with a state law prohibiting same-sex marriage.
The Republican governor, who withstood a recall effort in 2012, told Bloomerg's Al Hunt that he supports the federal Employment Non-Discrimination Act, because similar comprehensive legislation has been highly successful in Wisconsin since it was enacted in 1982, making the state the first to ban antigay discrimination.
But Walker doesn't see any contradiction in state law that prohibits someone from being fired because they're gay, lesbian, or bisexual, but also refuses to grant equal rights to married same-sex couples. In fact, he thinks that's a "healthy balance" of legal support for a marginalized community.
"In Wisconsin, we’ve had antidiscriminatory laws that are very similar to [ENDA] for more than 30 years and they work quite effectively," Walker explained. "We’re also a state that has a constitutional amendment that defines marriage as one man and one woman … I mean, we’ve not had problems. We’ve had no problems — I should say, limited problems — with [antidiscrimination laws]. At the same time, we still have a constitutional amendment that defines marriage. There’s a healthy balance there."
Watch Walker's comments below.