Firing Employees for Choosing to be Gay Should Be Just Fine, Says Lawmaker who Chose to be Religious

Illustration for article titled Firing Employees for Choosing to be Gay Should Be Just Fine, Says Lawmaker who Chose to be Religious

Oklahoma Republican James Lankford believes that being gay is a choice, and, as such, employers should be free to fire those sinful choosers if they disagree with them. Rep. Lankford, a man who chose to be religious, sees no irony in this statement.


When asked by a reporter whether or not he'd support laws barring sexual orientation-based job discrimination, Lankford said,

...race and sexual preferences are two different things. One is a behavior-related and preference-related and one is something inherently - skin color, something obvious, that kind of stuff. You don't walk up to someone on the street and look at them and say, "Gay or straight?

He then clarified that because you can't tell if someone is gay or straight by looking at them, their sexuality must therefore be a choice.

That's a pretty absurd premise for an argument to begin with — tons of things that aren't choices aren't visually evident. I didn't choose to be left handed or to be born without wisdom teeth, but you definitely can't tell that by walking up to me on the street unless you've got x-ray eyes or just asked me to complete a complicated task requiring manual dexterity. To add another layer of WTF to Lankford's bigotry, before Lankford was doing science/practicing unlicensed medicine full time as part of the United States Congress, he served as the director of the country's largest Christian camp after obviously choosing to adhere to a religious faith.

While every major medical organization in the country believes that being gay or straight is something outside of an individual's control, there's no proof whatsoever that people are born with a genetic predisposition toward a certain religious faith; there's no Catholic Gene, no Muslim Gene, no Budhist Gene. Lankford's belief that his choice to be religious should supersede the non-choice of being gay would be hilarious if this guy wasn't in a position to legally enshrine his bigotry.

[Think Progress]



Okay wait.

So, if being gay is a "preference," and it's okay to fire people for their preferences, can I be fired for not liking fruit yogurt? Or for preferring pajamas to suits?

This logic just doesn't make sense.