GOP Rep. Steve King: LGBT people want "special rights for self-professed behavior"

The Iowa congressman and Tea Party darling defends Arizona's defeated anti-gay law, incomprehensibly

Published March 4, 2014 3:40PM (EST)

 Rep. Steve King                  (Gage Skidmore/Flickr)
Rep. Steve King (Gage Skidmore/Flickr)

Arizona's anti-gay bill, SB 1062, is dead and gone. But among conservatives, the fight to justify its existing in the first place is far from over.

Speaking on the Des Moines TV station WHO on Sunday, far-right congressman Steve King defended the bill recently vetoed by Jan Brewer by saying that business owners should have the right to discriminate against LGBT people because homosexuality is a "self-professed behavior" that cannot be "independently verified."

"When you’re in the private sector ... with God-given rights that our Founding Fathers defined in the Declaration [of Independence], you should be able to make your own decisions on what you do in that private business," King declared.

"Although it’s clear in the civil rights section of the code that you can’t discriminate against people based upon — and I’m not sure I have the list right — race, creed, religion, color of skin," King continued, "there’s nothing mentioned in there on self-professed behavior, and that’s what they’re trying to protect: special rights for self-professed behavior.”

Asked whether he believed homosexuality was a choice, King equivocated, saying that while he "didn't know" whether it was a choice, he believed homosexuality existed on "some type of continuum or curve ..." King admitted, however, that he didn't "know what that curve actually looks like."

Yet what King could envision worried him much more than questions of homosexuality, free will and identity. Namely, King expressed his concern that, without laws like the one vetoed in Arizona, LGBT people could trick business owners into discriminating against them in order to punish them in court.

"The one thing that I reference when I say ‘self-professed’ is how do you know who to discriminate against. They have to tell you," King explained. "And are they then setting up a case? Is this about bringing a grievance, or is it actually about a service that they’d like to have?”

When it comes to conservative worries over a dystopian future where God-fearing Americans are oppressed by their LGBT overlords, King's nightmare vision isn't quite on the level of penis cakes. But it's close.

You can watch Steve King make barely any sense at all below, via Right Wing Watch:

By Elias Isquith

Elias Isquith is a former Salon staff writer.

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