Rand Paul Suggests LGBT People Just Stay In The Closet If They Don’t Want Workplace Discrimination

Rand Paul, a human being comprised of an opthalmology degree and the worst parts of Ayn Rand, shared his feelings on the issue of workplace discrimination against LGBT citizens yesterday at a campaign stop in Iowa. As you might imagine, said opinions were stupid opinions.

Via NBC:

“I think society is rapidly changing and that if you are gay, there are plenty of places that will hire you,” Paul said in response to a question about whether employers should be able to fire someone based on his or her sexual identity.

He added: “I think, really, the things you do in your house, just leave those in your house and they wouldn’t have to be a part of the workplace, to tell you the truth.”

Paul said that designating the LGBT community as a protected class, like race, gender and ethnicity, would create a new group “who can now sue.”

“So what happens is it sets up a whole industry of people who want to sue,” Paul said. “So if you happen to be gay, you get fired—now you have a reason you can fire them. But it’s almost impossible sometimes—you know, people don’t put up a sign, ‘I’m firing you because you’re gay.’ It’s something that’s very much disputed. And so I don’t know that we need to keep adding to different classifications to say the government needs to be involved in the hiring and firing.”

Now, first of all, it is quite apparent that Rand Paul does not take his own advice! Here he is with his wife, whom I imagine he does “things” with in his house, at some event which clearly has something to do with his career!

Image: Rand Paul, Kelley Ashby

Apparently, it is totally fine for Rand Paul to let us all know whom he is ostensibly having sex with, but it is not OK for LGBT citizens? How does that work?

Now, as shocking as this may seem to Rand Paul, we have lots of workplace protections and we have them for a reason. Because a system in which all power is granted to business owners, where workers have none, is a corrupt system. Because those in power are often more likely to hire people whom they believe are like them–which makes things rather difficult for those who are not. Especially when most people in power just happen to be heterosexual, cisgender white men who come from some amount of money.

Paul’s assumption here is that all workplace discrimination lawsuits are the result of mean greedy people trying to ruin the lives of decent, hardworking business owners. Which they are not! And if they are? If they don’t have good cause for those lawsuits, then they will get thrown out. Given that Paul has enough faith in our system to believe that the legality death penalty “should be left up to the states”–then I think he can trust that same system to be fair with something as non-life-threatening as lawsuits, no?

Now, a lot of what Paul is saying here is that we shouldn’t protect workers from discrimination based on their sexual preference or gender identity specifically because of the fact that they might sue. But let’s be real here, you could pretty much say that about any law, period. Because if something is illegal, then people might have to go to jail for it.

That is absurd.

He’s also suggesting that we shouldn’t force businesses to not discriminate against LGBT citizens because there are other businesses that don’t. I don’t know if Paul is aware of this or not, but it’s not actually always that easy to just go out and get a different job. We don’t actually have enough jobs in this country for everyone to have a job they can support themselves on. So when someone gets fired for something stupid, like being gay or trans, that is a really big deal.

It’s also necessary to our economy to keep people employed. Rand Paul and his cohorts are always whining about all the mean poor people stealing all their tax moneys, right? How has it not occurred to them that making it less appealing to fire people for stupid reasons like being gay or trans means that it will be less likely for those people to require government assistance?

I am going to have to say that Rand Paul has just not thought this through enough. As much as he might thoroughly enjoy the idea of totally hardcore, do what you want, Wild West, laissez-faire capitalism, that is just not a system that works out well for the vast majority of people in real life. And whether he likes it or not? That matters.