BigGayDeal.com

Potential GOP Veep Nominee Rob Portman Worries ENDA Would Cause Too Many Lawsuits: VIDEO

PortmanENDA

Ohio Senator Rob Portman's name has long been at the top of potential GOP vice-presidential picks, and the Senator seems to be getting a dry run when he joins Mitt Romney's upcoming bus tour through Ohio.

Before that, though, Portman today attended the Faith and Freedom Conference currently underway in Washington D.C. And it's there that the team from Think Progress asked Portman what he thinks about an Employment Non-Discrimination Act. His main concern? That people who are discriminated against will sue and that employers who want to discriminate will be uncomfortable.

Here's the transcript of Portman and journalist Scott Keyes' exchange:

KEYES: The Senate’s going to be taking up the Employee Non-Discrimination Act. Do you think that it ought to be illegal to fire someone for being gay in the United States?

PORTMAN: I don’t believe in discrimination…

KEYES: But whether or not it should be legal.

PORTMAN: What I’m concerned about in Paycheck Fairness and other legislation like that is the fact that it will spawn a lot of litigation the way the legislation is written. So you don’t want it to be a boon to lawyers, you want it to actually help people. But no one should discriminate.

KEYES: So you’re worried that people might actually take up claims that they were discriminated against?

PORTMAN: [...] A lot of them would create a lot of legal rights of action that would make it more difficult for employers to feel comfortable, to be able to hire, and to keep this economy moving. So you have to be careful how you do it.

Watch video AFTER THE JUMP.

Feed This post's comment feed

Comments

  1. I'm shocked that a reporter actually followed up with some intelligent questions. So rare today.

    Posted by: percy | Jun 14, 2012 10:25:22 PM


  2. I'm shocked that a reporter actually followed up with some intelligent questions. So rare today.

    Posted by: percy | Jun 14, 2012 10:25:27 PM


  3. True, the reporter did ask a couple good follow up questions, but (unless there's more that's not on the clip) he didn't ask the obvious this one: Are you and your staff working with the bill's sponsors to improve it, so you can vote for it?

    Posted by: Jacques | Jun 14, 2012 10:45:33 PM


  4. I disagree with him, but at least he seems like he's thinking it through. I wish more legislators would thoroughly examine issues before decided what position to take. We have to much partisan ridiculousness going on.

    Posted by: Tony | Jun 14, 2012 11:49:36 PM


  5. While I support ENDA I agree with Portman insofar as frivolous claims emerge as often if not more often than serious ones. While it is a purpose of this kind of legislation to separate the frivolous from the serious, at what cost to the employer? It is very easy to allege discrimination and very difficult to defend against it. I find that a few younger employees, especially if they are entitled with a minority status, believe that they have a right to a job regardless of their performance and that if the employer does not endorse this, he or she is immediately racist or homophobic.

    This is not true for the majority at all, but only a few frivolous claims can cost a company enough money to hinder expansion and new hires.

    Posted by: caoimhin | Jun 15, 2012 12:40:52 AM


  6. Shoulda asked, "So we should strike laws protecting freedom of religion, because religious people might actually sue if they're being denied that freedom?"

    Have to hit these fools where it hurts THEM, or they'll continue deluding themselves.

    Of course, anyone whose primary goal is to make it more "comfortable" for employers, probably hasn't had an uncomfortable day in his life.

    Posted by: sparks | Jun 15, 2012 1:56:42 AM


  7. @caoimhin:
    C'mon, really? Let's be honest: It's HEALTHCARE INSURANCE COSTS that are the overwhelming cost preventing employers from hiring. Further, for any individual company facing some frivolous suit for discrimation (say, under Title VII currently), the net GAIN TO THE PUBLIC is that employers know they will be called on the rug if they discriminate. And employees KNOWING that discrimination is not tolerated by law means boosts for the economy all around by greater productivity, loyalty, cooperation, etc., right?

    Oh yeah, and a certain fraction of minority employees who actually FACE discrimination have the GUTS to take on a lawsuit against an employer DESPITE the dark mark they still percieve it as creating against them as professionals and DESPITE the HUGE emotional toll on them personally for dealing with it so directly.

    Plus, should we cry-baby about the risks of some frivolous suits sneaking through if discrimination becomes explicitly outlawed against lgbt people? If anyone DOES, I think they EITHER don't get it OR are just using CODE for saying that they think gay people SHOULD be discriminated against legally, but want to get out of any repurcussions of being openly a gay-hater. I mean, c'mon Title VII and related federal law explicitly covers TONS of other categories, but the anti-employment-discrimination system is HUGELY popular with the American public. Americans would never stand for Senator Portman railing against anti-discrimination provisions based on race, color, sex, etc., so why would they stand for him railing against anti-discrimination provisions based on sexual orientation?

    Furthermore, a few states already HAVE statutes explicitly forbidding discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity. I've never heard of any ACTUAL evidence that adding these provisions in any way substantially changed workflow. In fact, I've seen at least one such state INCREASE the efficiency of managing the administration of its anti-disrimination statutes, albeit for other reasons.

    In any case, railing on anti-discrimination-in-employment statutes based on the inevitability that some poor-performing employees who lack grounds record complaints seems both dishonest AND short-sighted.

    Plus, in terms of sexual orientations and gender identity provisions SPECIFICALLY, I've REPEATEDLY seen the increasingly-persuasive argument that Title VII already effectively covers these categories through emerging caselaw. To the extent this is true in at least a patchwork of jurisdictions, what does making these protections explicit in a federal statute get us? Clarity and effectiveness, I'd think. MAYBE less costs fighting to further hammer out the caselaw? Plus, if there are already plaintiffs TRYING to bring such claims through Title VII, can you realistically claim a flood of illegitimate claims will come through the door once the protections are made a notch more clear and uniform in a statute?

    I'm just REALLY TIRED of hearing this supposed "frivolous suit" argument against ENDA. If you are going to use the argument, BACK IT UP, FOLKS:

    Tell me about a single state that added sexual orientation and gender identity to its nondiscrimination statutes in which a documented deluge of frivolous anti-discrimination charges resulted.

    Posted by: that_kid | Jun 15, 2012 2:05:49 AM


  8. I'm going with the real reason is the health care costs of their partners with the stigma that gay men have more health problems and it would cost more to support them.
    Then you have the bible freedom of faith, screw fair hiring practices folk.

    My solution: Remove employer mandate and implement a universal health care. Standardize treatment costs. Punish practices that gouge insurance companies. Punish insurance companies for deliberately rising premiums by turning a blind eye to overcharging insurance. The collective increased premiums pay for the corruption. Limit the costs of going to school. All these required expensive degrees get added into the mix for higher health care.

    Posted by: chris255 | Jun 15, 2012 2:55:23 AM


  9. ENDA needs to be strengthened so that defendants in those lawsuits will be forbidden to introduce 'evidence' based on bigoted ideas, like those promoted by cults such as the homophobic mormon cultists, the roman catholic homophobic child rapist cult or the southern baptist racist, homophobic cult.

    ENDA also needs to be strengthened so that defendants receive mandatory robust penalties upon conviction, including extensive jail time and the confiscation of their assets to compensate their victims.

    To paraphrase the maoists silly little red book, let a thousand lawsuits bloom.

    Posted by: Bill Perdue | Jun 15, 2012 3:10:39 AM


  10. @Bill Perdue:
    Absolutely right !

    The madness of these politicos seems to be ; "let's allow discrimination to continue otherwise employers will be sued ."

    As you say ;Let a thousand law suits bloom.

    Posted by: JackFknTwist | Jun 15, 2012 3:55:13 AM


  11. Because there's so much homophobia

    Posted by: rick scatorum | Jun 15, 2012 4:15:41 AM


  12. Our reputation as good dependable workers protects us more than any law ever could. Because of that, companies have been ahead of governments in proclaiming protections for sexual orientation for years. If they don't then I don't want to work for them anyway. That said, if there are to be federal laws prohibiting discrimination, gay and transgendered should be included.

    Posted by: Sam Molloy | Jun 15, 2012 4:25:27 AM


  13. But - employers who discriminate SHOULD be "uncomfortable," right now.

    Posted by: Christophe | Jun 15, 2012 5:43:03 AM


  14. But - employers who discriminate SHOULD be "uncomfortable," right now.

    Posted by: Christophe | Jun 15, 2012 5:43:03 AM


  15. I don't think Rob Portman really understands what ENDA is, or has thought much about it at all. He appears to think he's talking about the Paycheck Fairness Act, which is different.

    ENDA will almost certainly not spawn a wave of frivolous lawsuits. There are not all that many complaints from state anti-discrimination laws.

    Posted by: Fodolodo | Jun 15, 2012 7:52:44 AM


  16. I don't think Rob Portman really understands what ENDA is, or has thought much about it at all. He appears to think he's talking about the Paycheck Fairness Act, which is different.

    ENDA will almost certainly not spawn a wave of frivolous lawsuits. There are not all that many complaints from state anti-discrimination laws.

    Posted by: Fodolodo | Jun 15, 2012 7:52:54 AM


  17. TOOL! That's rethuglican code-speak for "I don't want to look like the bigoted @ss I really am, so I'll say some sh*t to throw off the stupids. But, in reality, I'm opposed to anything that promotes the equal rights of those fags and dykes."

    Posted by: Mommie Dammit | Jun 15, 2012 8:29:46 AM


  18. In other words, "I know that people do discriminate against gay people and those gay people would probably sue those employers if this law passed."

    Posted by: Houndentenor | Jun 15, 2012 10:08:17 AM



  19. Translation: I am using the excuse of "it will spawn a lot of litigation" instead of speaking the truth. Teavangelicals, like myself, want to be able to fire gays and lesbians AND refuse them service in public accommodations, like I own http://www.goldenlamb.com/

    PS Mr. Romney, Sen Portman's name recognition is in the 20's, in his home state of Ohio

    Posted by: Gus | Jun 15, 2012 10:53:17 AM


  20. Then I have a solution that even stupid OLD gop pigs can understand:

    Stop being such a bigoted a$$hole and then people would stop suing you!

    Problem solved!

    Posted by: mmike1969 | Jun 18, 2012 4:24:27 PM


  21. Typical bigoted Rethuglican scumbag.

    Posted by: rob | Jul 17, 2012 11:47:40 AM


Post a comment







Trending


« «New Booklet Hopes To Bridge Divide Between Gay Mormons And Their Families« «