Discrimination | ENDA | Iowa | Steve King | Tony Perkins

Iowa Rep. Steve King: If Gays Don't Want to Be Discriminated Against, They Shouldn't 'Advertise' That They're Gay

Iowa Rep. Steve King, whose ferocious work against marriage equality in Iowa you may recall, recently had a radio conversation with fellow bigot Tony Perkins of the Family Research Council about the Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA). 

King King used an little anecdote about his colleague Iowa State Senator Jerry Behn, to demonstrate why employers discriminate against gays — because they flaunt it.

Said King of Behn, who used to ask LGBT activists to guess his sexuality:

"And he said, 'let me ask you a question.' ... 'Am I heterosexual or am I homosexual?' And they looked him up and down, actually they should have known, but they said, 'We don’t know.' And he said, 'Exactly, my point. If you don’t project it, if you don’t advertise it, how would anyone know to discriminate against you?' And that’s at the basis of this. So if people wear their sexuality on their sleeve and then they want to bring litigation against someone that they would point their finger at and say, 'You discriminate.' …This is the homosexual lobby taking it out on the rest of society and they are demanding affirmation for their lifestyle, that’s at the bottom of this."


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  1. Really?!? (spoken like Seth & Amy) ...

    Posted by: shane | May 12, 2010 10:47:41 AM

  2. lol

    what a maroon!

    Posted by: Sean | May 12, 2010 10:49:18 AM

  3. Clueless and dangerous.

    Posted by: Sean R | May 12, 2010 10:51:17 AM

  4. I'd still hit it.

    Posted by: NoSleep4Sam | May 12, 2010 10:54:03 AM

  5. Actually, an openly gay law professor named Kenji Yoshino wrote extensively about the problem with "covering" (or the supposed outward display of sexuality).

    See here: http://www.yalelawjournal.org/images/pdfs/327.pdf

    Posted by: veg | May 12, 2010 10:59:13 AM

  6. As was succinctly said on Pam's House Blend,

    What he, Perkins, and some others want to forget (and subsequently wants everyone else to forget) is that our lgbt identities encompass more than sex acts. We have lives, relationships, and families; none of which we should have to hide to suit the mindsets of ignorant folks who think that homosexuality is encompassed by a mere sex act that one takes care of in a secluded place between going to the grocery store and picking up the laundry.

    The lgbt community has evolved beyond that nonsense.And if an lgbt wants to put a picture of his/her partner or his family on his/her desk, there should be no fear of reprisal. If an lgbt wants to talk about his/her partner, there should be no fear of reprisal. No lgbt should have to worry about reprisal for doing the same thing that many heterosexuals do on the job.

    You see that's what it's about - the ability to be open about our lives and our families without fear, just like everybody else.


    Posted by: Maxcor | May 12, 2010 11:01:29 AM

  7. Headline: "King Caught With Male Prostitute" in 5...4..3...2...

    Posted by: Alexander | May 12, 2010 11:04:48 AM

  8. /facepalm

    Substitute the word "christian" into his argument then ask him if he agrees it makes any sense.

    Posted by: Robert | May 12, 2010 11:13:15 AM

  9. Finally a solution to bigotry. If black people would wear white face, if Jews all had nose jobs and died their hair blond and if Latinos.... etc. etc. than narrow minded ersatz christian leaders would not have to go through the horrifying experience of discriminating against them. Oh the things we gay people do to fine upstanding people like Tony Perkins and Steve King who have not a malicious bone in their body. Who simply want decency and discreet access to prostitutes. I am so ashamed for tempting them to be hateful sons-of-bitches and ruining their chances for eternal life.

    Posted by: borisg | May 12, 2010 11:17:03 AM

  10. ROBERT, VERY good point.

    It always infuriates me when a person with a Jesus fish on the back of her car asks why gay people have to "advertise" their sexual orientation with rainbow flag or HRC bumper stickers.

    Posted by: TampaZeke | May 12, 2010 11:19:12 AM

  11. i wonder which rent boy Rep. King's been renting... i mean, i'm sure it's only a matter of time before we find out he's been doing it in bathroom's most of his life. right?

    Posted by: EmpressIsIn | May 12, 2010 11:19:18 AM

  12. Too bad we can't discriminate against stupidity, because Rep. King is certainly flaunting his here!

    Posted by: mrmnyc | May 12, 2010 11:23:32 AM

  13. If Representative King is serious about not flaunting one's sexuality in the face of voters, perhaps he should remove mention of his wife and son (of whom I assume he had a hand in the biological production) from his official biography.

    Posted by: Jonathan | May 12, 2010 11:24:08 AM

  14. He sounds just like Ramin Setoodeh.

    Posted by: David Ehrenstein | May 12, 2010 11:33:59 AM

  15. He's going down.

    Can you imagine the outrage over this statement if it was made about blacks, women, Christians, etc?


    Posted by: ravewulf | May 12, 2010 11:34:15 AM

  16. The ignorance is astounding. I have had plenty of jobs where I was not technically "out". I was a contractor in many companies and never felt a need to talk about my personal business in most of those places. However, had I wanted to progress I would have needed to bring a date to social events and engage in "what did you do over the weekend" type talk and that would have involved either lying (whether by making things up or leaving important details out) or coming out.

    If all we did at work was show up, work and go home, King would be right. But there's more to it than that, especially for those who expect to have a career, not just a job. For those whose ambitions include management or becoming partners in their firm, they cannot hide their personal life. Those omissions of facts are far too obvious. Does any straight person ever use sexually ambiguous language to talk about their romantic partner?

    Posted by: Houndentenor | May 12, 2010 11:42:14 AM

  17. Blame the victim. Stay classy. Betcha he thinks that the rape victim shouldn't have had that short skirt or sexy top on either.

    Posted by: Miles | May 12, 2010 11:43:16 AM

  18. I'm sure he'd love women to cover their sinful selves too. Burqas anyone?

    Posted by: gaylib | May 12, 2010 11:47:13 AM

  19. That reminds me of hearing people say, "if she didn't want to get raped she shouldn't have been wearing that dress."

    Posted by: Randy | May 12, 2010 12:03:59 PM

  20. He should have the hell beaten out of him and then told to stop acting like an idiot and he wouldn't be beaten up.

    Posted by: Bobby | May 12, 2010 12:27:53 PM

  21. Yea..just stay in the closet and everything will be fine. If you have a partner just call him your "roommate!" Better yet..don't do that..marry a woman and just fool around on her on the side-just don't let anyone know!
    OMG!!!! Sometimes I have to look at the calendar and make sure that this actually is 2010 and not 1950!!!

    Posted by: James Stone | May 12, 2010 12:54:04 PM

  22. What a flaming asshole.

    Posted by: Career | May 12, 2010 12:55:50 PM

  23. I think that the general attitude from an unhealthy amount of commenters on towleroad can be summed up with: go king! Tell it!

    Posted by: TANK | May 12, 2010 1:10:24 PM

  24. So now he wants to deny us our first amendment right to free speech? I'd like to see him try.

    Posted by: Todd in NYC | May 12, 2010 1:58:49 PM

  25. And yet they want to out Kagen and she is clearly not, "wearing it on her sleve". So which is it? They are clearly trying to out her to discriminate.

    Posted by: David | May 12, 2010 2:06:26 PM

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