Indiana Pol: LGBT Protections Are Like Protecting Psychokillers, Jared Fogle And “Fat White Men”
It just never ends, does it? Indiana State Rep. Woody Burton (R-1985), decided to vent his spleen at a recent town hall where he was asked some questions about expanding Indiana’s civil rights legislation to include protections for LGBT citizens.
As you may have gathered from the headline, he said some pretty stupid things. Woody believes that because he sees being gay or trans as a behavior, that gay people and trans people are undeserving of legal protection. He also believes that being gay or trans is in some way the same thing as being a psychopathic killer or a heterosexual pedophile.
“You can’t control it sometimes. I understand that,” he said. “If someone’s a psychopathic killer, it’s a behavior thing. They can’t help it. OK? Somebody’s a homosexual, maybe it’s a genetic thing. Maybe it’s not. They can’t help it. But it’s still a behavioral thing.”
Stop me if I’m wrong–but the gist here is that because gay people could, hypothetically, “control” themselves and pretend to be straight, and thus it should be legal to discriminate against them? And also they are somehow like “psychopathic killers?” Except in the way that they are not into going around murdering people so much as they are into having sex with someone of the same gender?
He then brought up Jared Fogle! Sure! Why not! Because Jared Fogle is a bad dude, and Woody over here really wants to make a “point” about something.
“This thing with Subway and Jared is a classic example of what’s the next step,” he said. “And you say, oh that will never happen. I’ve got articles on my computer at home from the English newspapers saying that those people can’t help it and they ought to be protected in England.”
May I just point out here that Jared from Subway was heterosexual? I’m not so sure how Woody means to compare a heterosexual man who committed crimes against children to gay people having consensual relations. It seems that what he’s missing here is the difference between committing a crime against another person based on a thing you may not be able to control, and a sexual orientation that in no way involves committing a crime against anyone else. Clearly, the only victim here situation is Woody Burton, and I don’t think he’s got much of a case.
Woody then went on about how LGBT people should not be legally protected from discrimination because he does not get legal protections for being a “fat white man.”
“If I pass a law that says transgenders (sic) and homosexuals are covered under the civil rights laws, then does it say anywhere that fat white people are covered?” he said. “What if I’m overweight? I don’t mean that to be facetious. I’ve been fat all my life and people used to make fun of me when I was a kid. I could probably do something about it, okay? Maybe I can’t. Maybe it’s just my habits. Maybe I got some physical thing. But when I was a kid there were people who discriminated against me because I was fat.”
Actually, size discrimination is illegal in the state of Michigan, as well as in San Francisco, CA, Santa Cruz, CA, Urbana, IL, Madison, WI, Binghamton, NY and Washington, DC. Like many people who support protections for LGBT people, I also support protections against size discrimination.
Perhaps, as a state legislator, Woody could propose similar legislation for Indiana, which would likely be a better use of his time than trying to find various convoluted ways to link LGBT people to criminal behavior.