John Boehner is not having a good week. First, two teenaged DREAMers yesterday cornered him in Pete’s, the D.C. diner where he has his morning breakfast, and recorded him blowing them off on immigration reform. And now, the Republican Speaker of the House just held a press conference and told America that he sees “no basis or no need” for protecting LGBT workers, calling ENDA “unnecessary.” And he reiterated that LGBT people “are already protected in the workplace,” which is untrue.
Fortunately, the Senate disagreed and passed the Employment Non-Discrimination Act last week. Speaker Boehner might see “no basis or no need” for protecting LGBT workers, but the vast majority of — as he is so fond of saying — “the American people” disagree.
“I am opposed to discrimination of any kind, in the workplace and any place else,” Boehner told the Washington Blade at a press conference late this morning. “But I think this legislation that I’ve dealt with as chairman of The Education & The Workforce Committee…is unnecessary and would provide a basis for frivolous lawsuits.”
“People are already protected in the workplace. I’m opposed to continuing this. Listen, I understand people have differing opinions on this issue, and I respect those opinions. But as someone who’s worked in the employment law area for all my years in the State House and all my years here, I see no basis or no need for this legislation.”
In 33 states you can be fired for your gender identity and in 29 states you can be fired for your sexual orientation.
Speaker Boehner may “see no basis or no need for this legislation,” but he’s already protected from being fired — except for job performance. Were John Boehner to lose his next election and enter the private sector, he would be protected from being fired because of his religion and because of his age — he’s over 40.
Ironically, were an employer who happened to be LGBT refuse to hire the Speaker because he’s heterosexual, Boehner would have no legal recourse, especially in his home state, Ohio.
Video via Think Progress
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