Rand Paul now says he doesn’t think people shouldn’t fired on the basis of sexual orientation, following criticism for remarks suggesting LGBT people should remain in the closet to avoid workplace discrimination, the Washington Blade reports.
The U.S. senator from Kentucky and Republican presidential candidate isn't letting what he now calls a misstatement stop him from doing TV interviews, however — he said Donald Trump is "the worst nominee" for president and would a "disaster" in office, in a new interview set to air tonight.
He clarified his comments about LGBT people last week, during an interview with CNN’s Wolf Blitzer.
Paul expressed regret for his choice of words Thursday, telling the CNN host, “I might have been able to word it better, but I don’t think [being gay] should enter the decision at all.”
When Blitzer sought further clarification by asking whether a hypothetical employee fired for being gay should be able to take the former employer to court, Paul said it should be up to the states. “I don’t think the federal government should weigh in on things like this,” Paul said. “It should be decided state by state, and if states want to make that an action for cause, that’s fine.”
Paul, whose latest unsuccessful stunt was to livestream one day on the campaign trail. was roundly criticized for his original remarks. Hillary Clinton’s campaign easily struck a chord with supporters and LGBT allies with just one .gif from Tuesday's Democratic presidential debate serving as her response to Paul:
— Hillary Clinton (@HillaryClinton) October 14, 2015
This all started with a campaign event at Drake University in Des Moines last Wednesday, when a member of the audience asked Paul if employers should be able to fire a person for being gay. As The Advocate previously reported, his response was caught on video: “The things you do in your house, if you leave them in your house, they wouldn’t have to be part of the workplace.”
He also said, “If you are gay, there are plenty of places that will hire you,” and objected to LGBT-inclusive antidiscrimination laws because they provide yet more people with grounds to bring lawsuits.
Gregory Angelo, president of Log Cabin Republicans, told the Blade Paul's latest remarks are more in line with sentiments the lawmaker expressed when he met with the LGBT Republican group ahead of the 2013 Senate vote on the Employment Non-Discrimination Act. Paul, however, voted against ENDA.
Paul says that Trump would be the "largest loser of any candidate ever in the history of the country if he were our nominee."
His full interview with Newsmax TV is scheduled to air tonight at 9 Eastern. Watch a clip from the interview with CNN here, and from Newsmax TV, below.