Do gay employees deserve to be fired for lowering the "moral standards" of employers?
That's the suggestion made by conservative Christian radio host Linda Harvey, who told listeners of her "Mission: America" radio program on Monday that employers should have the right to keep "open homosexuals or cross-dressers" from "modeling that lifestyle to kids."
Harvey, who for years has warned Americans about the dangers of the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender "lifestyle," said she believes being gay is a choice, reports Right Wing Watch.
"The fact is that no one needs to be involved in homosexuality," Harvey said on her radio show. "And all of the good qualities a person may have that might make that person otherwise an excellent employee don’t require a homosexual lifestyle."
In an email to The Huffington Post, Harvey wrote that since "no one needs to be homosexual, those who choose to be very open and proud about their same-sex desires, which they could overcome if they decided to, may present problems in the workplace for an employer."
In particular, Harvey said openly LGBT employees present problems for Christians, who "choose politely not to serve certain customers in certain situations," such as same-sex weddings.
"Should an employer retain the male who suddenly comes to work dressed as a female?" Harvey asked in the email. "I think that employer should have the right to dismiss that person. And of course, this should apply in the schools. People don't have to be homosexual. Desires may feel natural, but outward declarations of identity and behavior are always a choice."
Employees aren't protected against being fired because of their sexual orientation in 29 states, according to the Human Rights Campaign. Twenty-one states and the District of Columbia have varying levels of protections. Some prohibit discrimination based on sexual orientation in public employment, while others have broader bans.
Harvey's comments echo an older radio "Mission: America" program from 2011, when she criticized the National Education Association for supporting the rights of gays and lesbians to become teachers, according to Right Wing Watch.
"Kids should not be put in the confusing position of having a teacher they like and respect in many ways who’s also known to be practicing homosexual behavior," Harvey said at the time. "When people leave that behavior behind, then they might be qualified for a job involving children. Out and proud homosexuals should not have jobs that involve children."
Listen to Linda Harvey speak about gay doctors in the video segment below: