Allen West on LGBT Discrimination: “That Don’t Happen”

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Allen West grew up in Georgia and having lived there myself for a time, I’m not surprised by his deficiencies in the use of the English language; unfortunately, there’s still the matter of his ignorance regarding facts pertinent to legislating.

In an interview with Scott Keyes from Think Progress, West was asked about employment discrimination against gays; here’s the exchange:

“KEYES: What about something like a law that say[s] that it’s illegal to hire or fire people because they’re gay?

WEST: That don’t happen out here in the United States of America.

KEYES: You don’t think people get fired because they’re gay?

WEST: Well, I don’t see that as being a big issue with small businesses. I sit on the Small Business Committee. You know what they’re concerned about? They’re concerned about onerous tax policy, regulatory policy, and lack of access to capital because Dodd-Frank is absolutely decimating small community banks.”

Um, Allen – I might be wrong but I think the point of the question was what LGBT employees are concerned about. It seems he’s already been programmed with the GOP auto-response to words like small business, which would explain the fact that he never really answered the question.

Aside from the fact that he’s way off base regarding what small business owners’  main concerns are, he’s incorrect about workplace discrimination as well. According to the Center For American Progress,

The Williams Institute on Sexual Orientation Law and Public Policy aggregated a number of surveys to determine the extent to which gay and transgender workers experience discrimination and harassment in the workplace.

“Seven percent to 41 percent of gay and transgender workers were verbally or physically abused or had their workplace vandalized.

Straight co-workers also attest to the presence of discrimination and harassment against LGBT workers. The Williams Institute’s report found that 12 percent to 30 percent of straight workers witnessed discrimination in the workforce based on sexual orientation.”

The fact is,

“…Americans can be fired in 29 states because of their sexual orientation, and in 34 states because of their gender identity.”

Unfortunately, Allen West’s stance on sexual orientation is already on record, and it’s not a particularly enlightened one (via Think Progress):

West has previously compared sexual orientation to an ice cream flavor preference and predicted that gays and lesbians would “break down the military.”

And don’t mention equality whatever you do:

“I’m very concerned about this very divisive rhetoric the president is using when he continues to talk about ‘equality’ and ‘fairness’ and this thing that I think is really contrary to the principles that I mentioned, as far as life, liberty, and pursuit of happiness…”

There’s no reasoning with a thought process like that.

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