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Steve King: Gays Wouldn't Face Discrimination If They Didn't 'Wear Their Sexuality On Their Sleeve'

First Posted: 05/12/10 05:35 PM ET Updated: 05/25/11 05:25 PM ET

Steve King

Rep. Steve King (R-Iowa) says he has a simple solution to stop employment discrimination against gay people, and it sounds a lot like "don't ask, don't tell."

During a discussion Tuesday with the Family Research Council's Tony Perkins on the Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA), legislation designed to prohibit workplace discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity, King called the bill a "violation of the individual rights of employers to, at their own discretion, decide who they want to hire, who they want to fire."

King relayed an anecdote that outlined his solution for the problem of workplace discrimination:

And [State Sen. Jerry Behn] 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."

The legislation, King said, would serve as "entrapment that is legalized by the ENDA act," which would unfairly impact conservative businesses and organizations.

King laid out a potential scenario to back up his theory:

"I can imagine someone coming in and interviewing one day in man's clothes and come back the next day and apply for a job in woman's clothes and then setting up a lawsuit in a sting operation that could harass especially our religious organizations, but anybody, anybody that's operating in a responsible fashion."

WATCH the interview:

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Filed by Nick Wing  |