Rand Paul's disgraceful solution to LGBT workplace discrimination: Stay in the closet

“The things you do in your house, if you could just leave those in your house"

By Sophia Tesfaye

Senior Politics Editor

Published October 15, 2015 2:36PM (EDT)

Rand Paul  (AP/Cheryl Senter)
Rand Paul (AP/Cheryl Senter)

When Rand Paul isn't participating in "dumbass" (his words) stunts to prop up his flailing presidential bid he is making outrageous Libertarian-lite suggestions for a better America like the elimination of anti-LGBT workplace discrimination by having LGBT Americans just never mention their so-called private lives in the workplace.

“The things you do in your house, if you could just leave those in your house," Paul had the gall to suggest at a recent campaign stop in Iowa.

Paul was responding to a question from an audience member who asked if Paul thought it was OK for an employer to fire an employee based on sexual orientation or gender identity.

As it stands now, only 22 states ban employee discrimination with only three of those states allowing for an additional ban on discrimination based on gender identity.

Paul, apparently only concerned with increased litigation, explained that if LGBT employees just stayed in the closet during work hours the issue of discrimination would magically disappear.

"I think really the things you do in your house, we could just leave those in your house and they wouldn't have to be part of the workplace, to tell you the truth," Paul replied.

Paul explained that is important to keep in mind what decision should be left up to employers, adding, "I don't know if we need to keep adding to different classifications to say government needs to be involved in the hiring and firing."

Reminiscent of his fiery 2010 debate with Rachel Maddow over the legality of the Civil Rights Act, Paul argued that any new protections against LGBT workplace discrimination would become legally cumbersome.

"It sets up a whole industry for people who want to sue," he explained."If you happen to be gay and you get fired, now you have a reason you [were fired]. ... People don't put up a sign and say, 'I'm firing you because you're gay.' It's something that's very much disputed."

Paul then rationalized federal inaction on behalf of LGBT Americans, saying "I think society is rapidly changing and if you are gay, there are plenty of places that will hire you ... I’m really not for having the government more involved in these situations."

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By Sophia Tesfaye

Sophia Tesfaye is Salon's senior editor for news and politics, and resides in Washington, D.C. You can find her on Twitter at @SophiaTesfaye.

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Anti-lgbt Discrimination Aol_on Gop Kentucky Senator Rand Paul Video Workplace Discrimination