Rand Paul

Rand Paul's Fumbling on Gay Discrimination Question Was Eminently Avoidable

The right answer needs the right argument to avoid callousness.

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Libertarian defenses of discriminatory business practices on freedom of association grounds can come off as extremely callous when not well-worded or well-explained. It's a bit different from defending the most disgusting of speech as a liberty matter. Despite the growth of the culture of victimization, most people realize that words cannot actually hurt you. Hence, the current backlash to college speech policing.

By contrast, getting denied a job—or worse, getting fired from your job—for discriminatory reasons that have nothing to do with work performance can really screw up somebody's life. This doesn't inherently mean that we must immediately compromise human liberty as a consequence. But it does mean that when addressing a crowd that tends to see discrimination itself as an imposition on liberty, kind of shrugging at the outcome doesn't really advance the counterargument very well.

All of this is to say that Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) did not handle a question on workplace discrimination against gays and lesbians particularly elegantly when talking to college students at Duke Drake University yesterday. First here's a video of the exchange:

Paul is asked, "Do you think employers should be able to fire an LGBT employee because that person is LGBT?"

He starts off in response by saying, "I think really the things you do in your house we could just leave those things in your house and they wouldn't have to be part of the workplace to tell you the truth." I'm quoting that part directly for reasons that should be clear soon enough. He pivots to a lengthy, fairly nuanced response that discusses the consequences of making the federal government part of the solution, setting up a new classification by which people can sue, though it may actually be hard to prove whether a person was fired for being gay, and creates an "industry" of suing employers. He points out that culture is "rapidly changing," and many companies now have formal, written policies against discrimination against gays. In the middle of this response he added "If you are gay, there are plenty of places that will hire you."

Wedding pictures
RandPaul.com

So you can probably guess which two parts of his response are getting outraged attention. There is the part where he essentially says gay people shouldn't be out at work, which was genuinely terrible, stupid thing to say from a candidate who has a picture and a biography link that includes his wife on the front page of his campaign website. At this point in this "rapidly changing" society, everybody should be a bit less oblivious about how much of our relationships interact with work culture. He seems to be making the stereotypical mistake of conflating acknowledgement of a gay relationship with some sort of inappropriate workplace discussion of sexual activity.

The "you can go work someplace else" response is actually getting more criticism, because it appears very flippant taken out of context, suggesting that jobs are easy to come by. In context, that sentiment is actually placed within his explanation that many companies now have formal anti-discrimination policies, separate of federal law. But in the days of quick Twitter reactions, the full context is utterly lost. T. Becket Adams complained about the unnuanced media reaction here at the Washington Examiner. Adams calls it a "media fail." I'm not sure I agree. I definitely think Paul deserves criticism for the workplace "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" component of the response.

As for the "work elsewhere" response, Paul is well aware of his audience and at this point must certainly understand that some of his positions on LGBT issues pushes away some of the folks who agree with his calls for criminal justice reform, for scaling back the war on drugs, and for fighting against domestic surveillance. The argument that we need no additional discrimination laws needs to be focused in a positive direction, toward the fact that we've seen huge societal changes without government intervention, and that these cultural responses and pressures are much more efficient than creating a federal punitive response or catering to the current punishment-focused culture war zeitgeist. Essentially he needs to present the case that discrimination can be fought successfully without the intervention of government. He was partly there, but even though the "work elsewhere" response was more nuanced than the media would have us believe, it doesn't read as well as it needs to.

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  1. Whatever.

    I mean – seriously – WHATEVER.

    This is so fucking far beyond “tiresome”.

  2. “Libertarian defenses of discriminatory business practices on freedom of association grounds can come off as extremely callous when not well-worded or well-explained.”

    The argument that one’s own sexual preferences override and supersede other people’s First Amendment right to the free exercise of religion is extremely callous–no matter how well-worded or how well-explained.

    1. The argument that one’s own religious preferences override and supersede other people’s First Amendment right to the Freedom of Association is extremely callous–no matter how well-worded or how well-explained.

      Or, to put it another way… I have to compromise and not fire employees because of their religion no matter how offensive it is to me. Either free me of this burden, or accept one yourself. Because asking me to compromise on all points while you compromise on none is not fair.

      1. Bingo!

        Hit the nail on the head.

    2. Since religious preferences override other people’s rights to free association under current law, it seems callous to deny similar privileges to other groups.

      Furthermore, you are mistaken if you believe that libertarianism guarantees you these rights. If the town I live in didn’t have non-discrimination ordinances as a political measure, those same restrictions on businesses would simply be implemented through private associations. That is, if you want to open a business in this town, you’d have to agree to non-discrimination rules that might conflict with your religious beliefs. If you can’t accept that, you’re not welcome. That is also part of freedom of association.

    3. “Libertarian defenses of discriminatory business practices on freedom of association grounds can come off as extremely callous when not well-worded or well-explained.”

      The argument that one’s own sexual preferences override and supersede other people’s First Amendment right to the free exercise of religion is extremely callous–no matter how well-worded or how well-explained.

      I think you have the argument backwards. If one uses his right of free association or freedom of religion to deny another access to a market, it is he that is superseding another’s freedom. If “free market” means anything, it has to include a person being able to participate. If that is denied, either by government or other individuals, it is the one being denied whose rights are being trampled on.

    4. What about the many religions and religious people who’s faith tells them it is morally wrong to discriminate for any reason, including sexual preference? Are their rights not equal? For instance several Episcopalians, whose religion allows their marriage, tried to get married by Kim Davis. Her ‘exercise of religion’ denied them their ‘exercise of religion’, As a public servant, who took an oath to uphold the law, why does her religion, or that of an employer, trump that of others. It seems when there is conflict one would err on the side of minimizing harm. Since both sides can claim harm of conscience, then the financial harm inflicted by discrimination seems like it would mean one would err on the side of not firing, not denying licenses, etc.

  3. Why does it matter how he said it? If he’s not on the “right side” he’s going to offend the same number of people, regardless of how it’s said.

    1. Because he’s trying to be a politician, and how you say things is important if you want to convince people. People do sometimes change their minds. Otherwise there wouldn’t be any point in saying anything ever.

      I’d prefer that wasn’t how things worked too, but it is.

      1. I agree that people change their minds, but I don’t think that perfect phrasing is how that is accomplished. Especially since it doesn’t translate well to media soundbites

        1. I think it does help to find something that doesn’t immediately turn a lot of people off. Doesn’t have to be perfect.

          Of course, when you are trying to both please a Republican base that seems to think Trump is an OK idea and the broader electorate, it’s a little tricky.

      2. I’m in the midst of changing my mind about this, at first delighted with the outrage and fines, but then wondering if it wasn’t better to let popular opinion make the point of outrage and profit loss. Or maybe I don’t understand it at all, but Rand didn’t help.

    2. I disagree. There are certainly some people that will always be offended, no matter what.

      But if he said “I don’t think it’s necessary because I think our society has changed so much that discrimination against gays just won’t stand. A lot of that is due to the work of people in your generation, maybe even some of you. I believe that we are at a point where we can address this issue without going to the federal government. You know I’m a small government guy. I think giving the government more power, even if it is with good intentions, creates an opportunity for that power to be abused. So no, I don’t think we need federal laws against workplace discrimination, and I think that’s a good thing. It shows how far we have come.”

      I honestly, truly believe that would have gone over well with many of the people in the audience.

      1. A lot of people are wrongly convinced that no one will ever change their mind. And that’s just not true. Some people will never be convinced, but many people change their minds about things like this all the time. And I know from personal experience that people are at least a lot more willing to listen to you if you put things in terms that your audience will find least offensive to their preconceptions about an issue.

      2. Response: Rand Paul wants Jim Crow for gays.

        You can’t win. You can only submit or get pilloried.

        1. Plus, that whole paragraph is not what is going to be shared and retweeted in all it’s nuanced glory. Progs would find the most problematic sentence or two and harp on that.

          1. What is the problematic sentence? What do you think someone could tweet and say “AHA!”?

            1. What is the problematic sentence? What do you think someone could tweet and say “AHA!”?

              “So no, I don’t think we need federal laws against workplace discrimination, and I think that’s a good thing.”

              Slate headline: Rand Paul thinks workplace discrimination is ‘a good thing’. Cue liberal uproar.

            2. What is the problematic sentence? What do you think someone could tweet and say “AHA!”?

              “So no, I don’t think we need federal laws against workplace discrimination, and I think that’s a good thing.”

              Slate headline: Rand Paul thinks workplace discrimination is ‘a good thing’. Cue liberal uproar.

              1. Except anyone with a modicum of reading comprehension will realize that the quote doesn’t support the headline.

                Look, I just think some people here spend too much time reading the blogs/websites of the progressive far left. That’s a minority, and their screeches don’t usually percolate all the way up to the masses.

                1. We’re talking about people who vote ‘D’

        2. And yes, Jim Crow was government-mandated. You know that. I learned that here. People pilloring him don’t know and/or don’t care.

        3. But not everyone is either already convinced that free association is the only way, or a unwavering SJW type. You can’t win with those people, but there are a whole lot in between.

          If what you say is true, then it’s already all over and there is no point even paying attention or caring.

          1. That’s the end goal, yes. If you can get a man fired for donating (anonymously, five years ago) to the campaign that had same position as Obama and that won a clear majority with no pushback, you can bring down a Republican presidential candidate, no matter what or how he says it.
            Right now they are winning, and the only way to fight is to tell them to fuck off. Try to play by their rules and you get fucked yourself.

            Here’s how they play your paragraph:

            So no, I don’t think we need federal laws against workplace discrimination,

            There’s your soundbite – Rand Paul Wants To End Human Rights Act*. Run that, ignore any attempts to clarify, call him racist and done.

            *or whatever is the actual name of the legislation, too lazy too look up, too Canadian to care.

            1. That is what would play on MSNBC. But not everyone gets their news from people who want to see Paul fail. Your fixating on the one group of people that will do *anything* to stop a libertarian. But that is not the entirety of the country.

              Most people that read Salon headlines know it’s crap. And not that many people actually read Salon headlines.

              1. That’s how it plays on every pro-Democrat piece of media, TV, newspaper or otherwise. People who screech make it a racist/homophobe/sexist issue, most people nod head and move on, narrative of “Republicans are evil fucks” is confirmed.
                Anyone who can be arsed to look up what Paul actually said, what was the context and is predisposed to read it with a modicum of charity isn’t getting their panties in a bunch about what he said anyway. The outcry is not for them in the first place.

                Socialism, like the ancient ideas from which it springs, confuses the distinction between government and society. As a result of this, every time we object to a thing being done by government, the socialists conclude that we object to its being done at all. We disapprove of state education. Then the socialists say that we are opposed to any education. We object to a state religion. Then the socialists say that we want no religion at all. We object to a state-enforced equality. Then they say that we are against equality. And so on, and so on. It is as if the socialists were to accuse us of not wanting persons to eat because we do not want the state to raise grain.

                1848. Same shit, different instance – replace the word “education” with “equality” and it still applies.

                1. Somehow Republicans still manage to get around half of the votes nationally. I don’t think it’s quite so far gone as you suggest.

                  1. I don’t suggest most people give a damn either way, or that anyone will change their vote over this. The whole storm is Two Minutes Hate – someone we don’t like said something. Let’s attack!
                    Whatever he said, whatever rhetorical two-step he tried, same people who give a shit about it would attack him in the same way. If he doesn’t believe government must enforce gay rights, he’s a homophobe. If he’s a Republican, he’s a homophobe. Keep hammering on “homophobe” and never stop, no matter what he says.
                    Be like Thatcher and never, ever give the bastards an inch. Anything else is a losing battle.

                    1. Well, I think you can state things in a way that will turn fewer people off without compromising.
                      People do change and you have to start somewhere. I myself once more or less went along with the usual left-liberal stuff. Through interest in drug policy and criminal justice reform I found out more about libertarian stuff and never turned back. You never know what is going to start someone’s reexamination of their political beliefs. So you might as well try to appeal to as broad an audience as possible without compromising what you really mean to say.

                    2. Good for you Zeb. We libertarians can be an angry bunch, pissed at what seems to us to be an obviously out of control government, and don’t understand why everybody doesn’t see it, too, or if they do see it, then why aren’t they pissed off too.
                      Everyone is a big government slaver instead of misinformed.
                      And we wonder why the libertarian party is so small.
                      Go ye and convert the infidels!

                    3. It’s the ‘Outrage of the Day’, playing on a continual loop on my Facebook timeline

            2. Wait, hold on…

              Eich gets to make a public statement? that gays and lesbians not only shouldn’t be able to get married, but that the ones that *did* get married should be forcefully divorced by the government against their will?.

              But the independent developers who work for Mozilla don’t get to make a public statement that they don’t want to work for Mozilla as long as that bigot is CEO?

              Or to put it into more traditional non-discrimination language…

              A baker can/should be able to kick me out of their store because I’m gay.

              But it’s wrong if me and my friends refuse to go *into* their store because the way they treated me?

              How is that possibly fair?
              ________
              ?And yes, under California law his donation was a *public* statement, and he (should have) known that.
              ?Yes, that was one of the intents of Prop 8. After it passed the proponents went to court to argue that the marriages that had been performed were invalid. They lost that one, but it was their intent and something they fought for.

        4. Sure, some people will say that. But a lot of people could absolutely see through that level of BS.

        5. Nah, if I wanted to say *that* I’d point out his waffly support for Kim Davis, response to the Obergefel decision, and years of support for DADT before his last-minute flip-flop on it.

          So while he may not “want” “Jim Crow for gays”, he isn’t bothered by government discrimination against us either. *That* is what I’d say. And I don’t have to ignore nuance to do it.

          1. Gah, correction. He’s just plain for DADT. I confused him with his father for a moment.

          2. Exactly. Which makes the “GOP-libertarian” pseudo-support for “free association rights” look like the withered fig leaf that it is.

          3. Ok fair enough. Three points:
            1) 20 years ago DADT was considered extremely liberal, so the fact that DADT is now considered the illiberal position is a vast improvement. DADT was instituted by CIC Bill Clinton.
            2) he’s still the most libertarian candidate to be within a realistic distance of the white house. If you are a one issue voter, and that issue is gay rights, then, no, Rand is probably not your guy.
            3) ok I was exaggerating; I only have two points.

            1. Rand Paul didn’t support DADT twenty years ago, he supported it up until it was repealed what, four years ago or so? And at that point it was obviously harming our readiness, it wasn’t actually being equitably enforced (“no tell” was, but “don’t ask”? Yeah, there was *plenty* of asking) and three of our four top armed forces officers were saying it should go the way of the dodo.

              As for (2)… so what? I was responding to the contention that people had to stretch to illustrate Rand Paul as anti-gay. We don’t. He *is8 anti-gay. He supports government discrimination against us, both in the abstract (DADT, marriage) and the concrete (Kim Davis). You don’t have to stretch or twist anything to illustrate that.

        6. You can only submit or get pilloried.

          Completely inaccurate.

          You can submit *and* get pilloried. You can be interacting in passive support of the movement and get pilloried. You can be part of the movement *and* get pilloried. You can be a gay, part of the movement, and simply trying to converse with or dissuade your opposition *and* get pilloried… Seriously, tons of choices, quit making it seem like the idea is to prevent you from freely associating with people.

          It’s rather like the “Yes means yes” situation where you could confess to various crimes of bigotry, real or imagined, and make yourself the victim. And just like with ‘Yes means yes’ there are plenty of people who actually do regard bigotry as a disease that needs to be wiped out whether your suffering from it is real or imagined.

      3. Agreed, but there would still be those in the audience that would call him a homophobe and a champion of discrimination.

        1. Of course. Some people are determined to stick to their preconceptions no matter what. But not everyone thinks about this stuff a lot or is particularly attached to whatever opinion they may have.

        2. I wouldn’t call him a “champion”, and I don’t care if he’s a homophobe or just plays one on TV.

          But it’s a simple truth that he supported DADT, marriage discrimination and Kim Davis.

          That’s not arguing in favor of people’s freedom of association or speech, that’s straight-up government discrimination he’s endorsed.

      4. I like this answer even better than the one I gave below….

        1. Because it’s optimistic, and it (intentionally) flatters the egos of the audience. It’s also narrowly on topic and doesn’t go off on tangents that could get you into trouble. But it’s still principled and entirely consistent with libertarian values.

          Of course, I’m not answering things off the cuff. But I’m also not trying to make it as a professional politician. And I didn’t spend hours crafting that response either. For a good speaker that knows what they believe and prepare for their audience, this really shouldn’t be *that* hard.

          1. No, it really shouldn’t, especially since Paul has been dealing with questions regarding non-discrimination laws for years.

      5. Your answer is too gay-affirming. I’ve seen no evidence that Rand Paul actually likes it on the personal level that the society discriminates less against gays. And he and his advisers are not good enough to fake the pro-gay sentiment while explaining that the federal government shouldn’t get involved.

        1. That’s because he’s courting the evangelical primary voters while he throws the occasional bone to the libertarians who he figures he has tied up.

        2. That may be, but that’s something about Rand Paul personally. My point is that you can defend free association in a way that doesn’t turn off people worried about discrimination.

          1. Yes, I assume there’s a good argument. It is just tantalizingly out of my reach, but I think I’m willing to hear it.

    3. No, because of how he said it he’s got progs and cosmos pissed at him.

    4. Then he needs to give a libertarian answer, that is if he is truly libertarian, instead of an answer he thinks will be good enough to get by.

      1. He’s a Republican… Republicans hate libertarianism, which is why “libertarian Republicans” are so pretzel-like.

  4. Where’s Drew Rosenhaus when you need him.

  5. “Personally, I don’t think anyone should fire someone else based solely on that person’s race, religion, gender, orientation, etc. But it’s clear that employers are able to do that right now, even despite the rules laid down by the government that supposedly protect certain classes of people. In the end you can’t legislate morality and if you try you will fail and you will end up catching some innocent people as well. Ultimately you do more harm than good. That’s why I lean towards allowing freedom of association for all people.”

    -How I would have responded to that question

    1. *leads horde with torches to burn down some guy’s house*

      /prog

    2. To which any quick-witted reporter would respond “But we don’t allow freedom of association for all people. A gay baker can’t refuse to serve Mormons, Muslims, Catholics or Baptists. So do you plan on introducing any legislation to correct this injustice and allow Freedom of Association for all people?”

  6. Rand is cracking under the pressure. He used to be able to express things well, but he’s trying so hard not to scare the Republican base that he can’t be authentic. And if you’re not a Democrat, being inauthentic usually results in meandering, inelegant answers to questions like these.

    1. And the reason he tries so hard shows that he is not authentic.

  7. “Do you think employers should be able to fire an LGBT employee because that person is LGBT?”

    There are two potential responses to this question:

    1) “In the framework of current civil rights legislation it’s perfectly reasonable to extend the same protections to LGBT employees that we do to people who are black, muslim, handicapped, or female.”

    2) “In libertopia all employment would be at-will and bigots could fire people they didn’t like for looking at them funny and the government shouldn’t step in and say anything about it because the fired person can just get a different job or better yet start a competing company and shame their former employer out of business.”

    Both are reasonably libertarian answers to the question, but only one of them really works if you are a politician trying to broaden your appeal and win an election.

    1. You forgot the third possible response, Hugh. To anything.

    2. Hugh, I don’t think that advocating for further reductions of liberty, in the name of “equal protection”, is libertarian at all. On account of it being further reductions of liberty.

      1. You have a point. It’s also not very libertarian to concede a very minor defeat that will have almost no impact on anyone in order to win an election and have the ability to effect major changes like ending the wars on drugs and terror. But that’s something I would still like to see Rand do.

      2. Sometimes the only libertarian response is none at all.

        But this does come close to a question you raised not too long ago. Is it worse to have bad laws consistently and equitably enforced, or bad laws that are selectively enforced. I don’t think anyone had a good answer.

        Equal protection of the law isn’t a specifically libertarian principle, but it’s a pretty good principle anyway.

        1. Is it worse to have bad laws consistently and equitably enforced, or bad laws that are selectively enforced.

          All else being equal, from a libertarian standpoint, the former is obviously worse. While the “when someone isn’t free” sophistry is great in theory and morally, very lofty, the former situation is, literally and explicitly, “no one is free”.

          Equal protection under the law is only a good principle when the law is circumscribed to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. When the law is having your cake and eating it too, equal protection is an expansive and oppressive absurdity.

    3. In libertopia all employment would be at-will and bigots could fire people they didn’t like for looking at them funny

      But in libertopia, people could also make a binding commitment to non-discrimination in hiring and firing a condition of renting and buying property, of using private roads for your business, for banking services, etc.

      That is, in libertopia, any and all of those associations could vote to impose requirements on you that may conflict with your religious beliefs, and your only option if you don’t like them is to get out of town.

  8. The LGBTBBQ community seems to have taken the stance that if you don’t approve of and celebrate their position then you are actively against them. Is that the stereotypical mistake you’re talking about, Scott?

    1. Well, not firing people is practically the same thing as participating in gay orgies.

  9. This sort of issue is a minefield, because there are so many different possible cases.

    If GM simply finds out that an assembly-line worker is gay, should they be able to fire him for that? No.

    If he comes to work in a dress and wig on Tuesdays and Thursdays, and insists on using the women’s room only on those days, and makes a big stink about it? Yes.

    If he works for a Catholic charity counseling homeless teens, and they discover he’s gay and living with two 18-year-old formerly-homeless teens? Yes.

    Ideologues prefer bright, absolute lines, but reality is often too messy for that.

    1. I used to work with this lesbian woman who constantly bragged about her sexual exploits in a very loud voice. I don’t care who you are, gay or straight, I prefer not to hear about your personal life while at work. But because she was a member of a protected class, if I was to voice my opinion I would get fired. Finally I got sick of listening to that shit and found a different job.

      1. You should have sued for sexual harassment and hostile work environment. If you had been a masochist, that is.

        1. Peeps need to support the anti-discrimination bar.

      2. so, she wasn’t hot, then.

  10. “Do you think employers should be able to fire an LGBT employee because that person is LGBT?”

    Why would a LGBT person want to work for an employer who wants to fire them, but only keeps them employed out of fear of being sued? That doesn’t sound like a comfortable work environment.

    1. Because being in a protected class is no fun unless you can make someone uncomfortable.

      It’s all about revenge, you see? Since they’ve been picked on and bullied their whole life it’s perfectly acceptable to do it back.

    2. Yeah, if someone hated my type of people I would want them to make it obvious so I could avoid doing business with them. I wouldn’t want them to be trying to find surreptitious ways to act on their hate. I mean, would you rather a baker refuse to bake you a cake, or be forced to bake you cake and deliberately do a terrible job of it (or just spit in it)?

      1. and deliberately do a terrible job of it (or just spit in it)?

        Another reason to sue!

    3. What if they are friends with their co workers and liked the job itself, and had built years of experience at that job with those co workers and was great at their job. Would you quit your job because one person doesn’t like you? or a boss doesn’t like you? The relationship between the employee and the boss is but one facet in a work environment. That line of thinking is the same line of thinking we hate when people bring up gun control issues and focus on one facet of the argument to support their want of banning all guns.

      1. It was a rhetorical question with the correct answer being “To be a jerk.”

      2. Would you quit your job because one person doesn’t like you? or a boss doesn’t like you?

        By far, the biggest reason that people quit their jobs isn’t pay or benefits. Its because they don’t like their boss.

    4. I very briefly worked with one woman who had a track record of suing her past employers for sexual discrimination and harassment. She was definitely not normal or mentally healthy and in the short time she lasted in the job she did nothing but whine about and dissect every comment that that any male manager said to her. It was like she was constantly in the “who is harassing/discriminating against me now?” mode. Consequently, it was very difficult for her to find someone who would employ her and when she did find a job, her attitude kept her from acclimating to it.

      At least in her case, having the ability to punish her oppressors did not do any favors for her job prospects. My guess is that most people who are drawn to punishing others for their transgressions tend to be not very sympathetic in the first place.

    5. The same reason a gay couple would demand someone to bake them a cake they know won’t when they have other places to go to that will.

    6. Not a lot of choice in the labor market these days.

      1. An excellent reason not to handicap anybody looking for a job by tattooing “protected class – hire me at your peril” on their forehead.

        1. Disingenuous circularity. What about racial minorities? They don’t have the option to hide that trait. So you would offer them option a) suck it up and deal with an environment that routinely discriminates against you, or option b) get discrimination protections but be faced with employers who would discriminate against you tacitly.

          1. This country has a long history of minorities that people had prejudices against, and history shows that “sucking it up” leads to far better outcomes.

    7. I don’t know, maybe because people rarely know their boss is an asshole before they start?

      Maybe because most people take a holistic view and are willing to accept the bad if there’s enough of the good?

      Seriously, how many people in America go home and complain about their jobs, their boss, their co-workers? If having one or two disagreeable folks, even if those folks are your boss, was enough reason to make your average American quit, then we’d be way more nomadic then we already are with people shuffling jobs like they were playing musical chairs.

      Maybe someone’s in a job they love and then their boss gets promoted and the new boss is an asshole.

      Maybe they need to keep their job because they have too many obligations to go jobless.

      Pretty much every reason people stay in jobs that have some negatives (not even jobs they hate, just jobs with a few negatives) applies to gay people too.

      1. how many people in America go work and complain about their wives?

        1. That some men also complain about their wives, but don’t seek a divorce, just reinforces that stability is more important to many people then 100% happiness.

  11. Why the fuck did he want to be a politician anyway? He’s got a very pretty wife, a good career doing something useful that improves people’s lives.

    Politics is the worst thing in the world.

    1. And she looks better in most of the non-wedding photos I have seen of her.

    2. Politics is the worst thing in the world.

      Sometimes the hero seeks out the worst thing in the world in order to stop it.*

      *No idea if that’s what he’s doing or even if he’s a hero. It looks to be more or less what his dad tried to do, however…

      1. It’s just kind of sad to see someone who is apparently a decent hard working person get sucked into this mess. I suppose it’s good that some people do it. But i have to wonder sometimes if it’s worth it. Not my problem, I guess.

  12. He can’t properly address the issue at hand without a repeat of his infamous Maddow Civil Rights Act interview. He’s running scared like every other politician out there except Trump.

  13. Really all you need to do is separate intentions from results of policy.

    Adding a class of people to “protected” status makes them a legal liability for all employers. Since the private sector is in the business of generating profit, hiring somebody who has a much greater chance of suing you out of existence makes that person a much less desirable candidate.

    Such a policy would introduce discrimination against gay people, even where none previously existed. It is counterproductive to their stated goals.

    But I suppose understanding incentives is too much nuance for your typical progressive.

    1. Don’t be silly, they’ll just fix that with a quota system.

      1. We’re just one regulation-patchwork away from utopia!

      2. Box 1. I affirm that we do not discriminate in hiring
        Box 2. I affirm that we have hired the approved number of employees in all the stated categories

    2. People who don’t understand incentives inevitably understand only one thing: force. That’s why they believe in making people do things rather than getting them to do things. Sadly, this is all too common and they cannot be made to see the light; they just aren’t capable of it.

    3. But I suppose understanding incentives is too much nuance for your typical progressive.

      They understand incentives that are created intentionally. But incentives that stray from their good intentions boggle the progressive mind. Good intentions plus government force equals magic. Results that don’t match their magic must be a result of some other bad magic, because it couldn’t be their fault.

    4. It’s also not an argument Rand Paul has ever made in opposing non-discrimination laws.

  14. “Do you think employers should be able to fire an LGBT employee because that person is LGBT?”

    “I can’t think of any reason”. That leaves open the possibility that there could be a reason.

  15. “Do you think employers should be able to fire an LGBT employee because that person is LGBT?”

    RC: Well, which is it? Is the employee lesbian, gay, bisexual, or a tranny? I’m pretty sure nobody is actually all four at once.

    DR*: Uh, er, OK, should an employer be able to fire a gay employee because that person is gay?

    RC: I think it would be stupid and wrong to do so. However, I don’t think that they should be forced out of business so none of their employees have a job if they do so. You know, like that bakery that had to close its doors after it declined to bake a cake for a gay wedding. All their employees lost their jobs – do you think that was justice for not baking a cake?

    *Dumbass Reporter

    1. DR: But I thought you were pro-free market? The bakery that closed wasn’t forced out of business by government, but by the resulting collapse in business that came from people avoiding them after the mess became public knowledge.

      RC: …

      1. The $150,000 fine definitely came from the government.

        I liked you better as Bo Cara, tbh.

        1. Yep. And was a consequence of the Kleins posting the women’s private info online so they could be harassed. And, y’know, because the judge was well aware of how much money the Kleins had raised off the whole affair.

  16. Could anyone correctly answer that question without giving some activist a soundbite? I can’t think of any way of doing it, and I’ve got nothing but time…

    1. No. It’s a fundamental disagreement over the freedom of association. Libertarians believe in it, progs do not.

      1. Libertarians believe in it, progs do not.

        Yes, though that doesn’t mean that employers can fire people no matter what. In a libertarian system, a neighborhood association or private road association can well decide to make non-discrimination against gay employees a condition of membership.

        1. Of course, without a monopoly on “membership” and in a market where you have to compete for customers with varying values and belief systems, and where you might just encounter competition for your services, no sane road operator or HOA is going to make fealty to 5% of the population a contingent for doing business, and in any case the only enforcement mechanism is non-association, which can’t encumber the employer anyway. So, actually, yeah, that’s exactly what it means.

    2. I tried to draft mine so it didn’t cough up a good sound bite for the forces of evil.

    3. See mine upthread.

      1. The one with this soundbite?

        I don’t think we need federal laws against workplace discrimination,

        1. YES!

          Look, if you are going to actually give an opinion, you have, you know, give the opinion. This is what we think, right? You have to actually say what you believe in if you want anyone to listen.

          Obama said stuff Republicans were inclined to disagree with. Conservative media hammered him for it. And yet, lots of conservative-leaning independents and registered Republicans voted for him! How could that possible have happened? There were so many soundbites, so many attacks.

          It’s because not everyone actually listens to soundbites. The American electorate is not composed entirely of Salon readers or Fox News loyalists. A larger message *can* actually get through, and there are people in the middle that actually are up for grabs.

    4. “Could anyone correctly answer that question without giving some activist a soundbite?”

      If the candidate manages to phrase the answer in such a way that it cannot possibly be taken out of context to form an incriminating soundbite, they’ll just wait until Saturday Night Live does an exaggerated parody of the answer, then they’ll chose to believe that that was actually what was said.

      See: Sarah Palin and “I can see Alaska from my house”

  17. For one thing, how many employees – or even bosses – are fortunate enough to be able to truly be themselves at work? If they could do that, some of them would sit around in T-shirts and jeans talking about sports, or sitting around in form-fitting yoga pants talking about shoes.

    The work environment can impose all sorts of restrictions that make you feel inauthentic and unrecognized.

    “Despite the growth of the culture of victimization, most people realize that words cannot actually hurt you. Hence, the current backlash to college speech policing.

    “By contrast, getting denied a job?or worse, getting fired from your job?for discriminatory reasons that have nothing to do with work performance can really screw up somebody’s life.”

    Of course that’s what *reasonable* people believe, but we’re not always talking about reasonable people.

    One might think that some random stranger, who you probably won’t interact with again, insulting you, and your employer depriving you of your livelihood, would be polar opposites, the one being a minor annoyance and the latter being life-shattering.

    1. But remember the two Sapphic sisters who were denied service for their gay cake, and promptly went to another business willing to give them their cake? Based on their later testimony, at least one of them experienced a major freakout from the initial rejection, feeling that she was being told God shouldn’t have created her, etc., and she basically sat around sobbing.

      Do you think all these “I had to find another nearby store to bake my cake” are based on actual concrete injury? No, they’re based on the emotional injury caused when people made them feel bad, basically by the very fact of disagreeing with their lifestyle.

      What chance does free speech have in this climate, when even “mere words” can traumatize and demoralize the victim classes, and if you want these words to be legal you’re pro-traumatization?

      1. Based on their later testimony, at least one of them experienced a major freakout from the initial rejection, feeling that she was being told God shouldn’t have created her, etc., and she basically sat around sobbing.

        Well, you really shouldn’t make public policy, or decide cases, based on the ravings of a lunatic.

        1. A quote from the administrative judgment (I think it should have ellipses in some parts):

          “In addition to other emotional responses, RBC (Rachel Bowman-Cryer) described that being raised a Christian in the Southern Baptist Church, Respondent’s denial of service made her feel as if God made a mistake when he made her, that she wasn’t supposed to be, that she wasn’t supposed to love or be loved, have a family, or go to heaven. LBC (Laurel Bowman-Cryer) who was raised Catholic, interpreted the denial to represent that she was not a creature created by god, not created with a soul and unworthy of holy love and life? These are the reasonable and very real responses to not being allowed to participate in society like everyone else.”

    2. I spend as much time at work as I do (awake) in my house. How do I even know which version is the “authentic” one? Maybe its the third me that sleeps 1/3 of the day away. Yeah, that’s probably it.

    3. how many employees – or even bosses – are fortunate enough to be able to truly be themselves at work? If they could do that, some of them would sit around in T-shirts and jeans talking about sports, or sitting around in form-fitting yoga pants talking about shoes.

      I guess I’m pretty fortunate to work where I do.

      1. I’m pretty much myself at work, really.

        Helps to be close to the top of the local food chain.

  18. Obama’s a fag and he gets to keep his job.

    1. oh fuck off

  19. Libertarian defenses of discriminatory business practices on freedom of association grounds can come off as extremely callous when not well-worded or well-explained.

    My defense of discriminatory business practices are entirely based on property rights and I don’t care if people think I’m being callous, in the extreme or otherwise. People who think that there’s callousness in private property are called socialists.

    By contrast, getting denied a job?or worse, getting fired from your job?for discriminatory reasons that have nothing to do with work performance can really screw up somebody’s life.

    And taking away someone’s property under the guise of protecting someone’s wittle feelins doesn’t screw up the other person’s life?

    Paul is well aware of his audience and at this point must certainly understand that some of his positions on LGBT issues pushes away some of the folks […].

    An why should Paul give up his principles for them? Why can’t they give a little and accept that not everything they see in sight is theirs for the taking?

    The answer to the question “Is it OK if a business discriminates on the basis of ______?” is “Yes. And if you think you’re entitled to a job or to a good, then FUCK YOU!”

  20. Sexual progress in general (including tolerance of homosexuality, but really starting with the notion that people should choose their own partners out of love rather have them chosen to serve a family’s political agenda) is predicated on the notion that government has no right to interfere in people’s consensual relationships, either to prohibit them, or to mandate them.

    Tolerance of business discrimination is based in the same principle, under the notion that a business relationship can be as personal and important as a sexual relationship (and indeed, in the era of casual sex, many business relationships may be much longer-lasting, affectionate, and committed than sexual ones), and deserves as much protection under law.

    Thanks, goodbye.

    1. Good response, I would just preface that with, “Jane you ignorant slut. Sexual progress in general…”

    2. Yeah, I like this one.

      “Why should your one-night stand with a tranny give you any special rights in my business?” might be another way to put it.

  21. Paul is asked, “Do you think employers should be able to fire an LGBT employee because that person is LGBT?”

    For that and for whatever reason strikes the employer’s fancy. IT’S HIS/HER MONEY, not the LGBT member’s. NO ONE IS ENTITLED TO A JOB.

    Next question? Yes? No, as it was obvious from my last response, I AM NOT A SOCIALIST, quite the contrary.

    1. I think that’s the correct response. Go Full Thatcher. Don’t pretend to be what you are not, just say “this is what I think, if you don’t like it, you’re wrong.” Stop pussyfooting and trying to get Cool Kids to like you.

    2. No one is entitled to a job!

      Unless your last name is Klein or Eich!

      1. You’ve got him on the ropes! Beat him! Beat that strawman!

        1. Eich “lost” him job not because of any government action, but because a sufficient number of Mozilla contractors said they didn’t want to work with a Mozilla headed by Eich.

          If that’s not “Freedom of Association” and “Freedom of Speech”, I’m not sure what is.

          Similarly, the Kleins weren’t “driven out of business” by the government. The fine they eventually received was well within the amount of donations they received, and came well after they’d closed their doors before the government had done anything. They closed their doors for two reasons. First, it allowed them to restructure such that they could discriminate without violating the law, and second, they didn’t like public response they were getting.

          In both cases the “loss”, be it the job or their public store front, was compelled not by government action, but by *private* action.

          And yet, on this very site, there’s a recent article decrying what happened to both Eich and the Kleins as censorship and worthy of condemnation. So per this site, and the commentators here, it’s fair and right for Eich to fire me because I’m gay, but if I quit because of Eich’s action, it’s unconscionable coercion.

  22. Why the fuck should he care? The vast majority of the extremely tiny LGBT crowd isn’t going to vote for him anyway.

    The even more extremely tiny few who aren’t brainless leftbots are smart enough to understand what he said.

    And he’s right. If I’m hiring you, I’m hiring your brain and your hands–I don’t give two shits about your genitalia, your ‘gender’, your ‘orientation’, or what you do for your sexing.

    And if you’re so involved with your sex life that you can’t go 8 hours without it being an issue, then no, I don’t want you on my job site.

    If your primary identifier is which uglies you like to bump, you’ve got more problems than any job really wants to deal with.

    1. I agree with you. Best to throw those faggots/Dykes under the bus as they’re not voting libertarian anyway.

      That’s what Guiliani did with black people in NYC. He himself said “you can’t be everything to everybody”. So, he picked a small non-voting constituent and bullied them. And, it worked !!!

      Same thing with Donald Trump. Those illegal wet-backs don’t vote. Easy target.

      In politics for today’s America, one needs to pick sides. The Centrist is DEAD !!!

    2. Every office I’ve ever worked in, people put photos on their desks. Pictures of wives, kids, boyfriends/girlfriends, their dogs, whatever.

      Why should I be expected to keep my desk bare?

    3. Could you let me know your company’s name and address? We’re short on talent, and I’d like to hire away your queer employees, who probably hate your guts and are waiting for a boss who isn’t a douchebag.

      Thanks!

      1. You mean you were actually able to accumulate enough capital in a society that is structurally biased against you to such an extent that you feel you need a third party to force other people to interact with you at gunpoint? Weird.

  23. I imagine a problem is that he also has to keep in mind his socially conservative audience, the sort of people who think homosexuality is a sin and social sickness. He is running as a Republican, after all. These people might accept that sodomy shouldn’t be criminalized, but they would surely exercise the right to deny employment or services to gay people. If he goes on about how bigotry can be fought through culture, he will alienate the bigots. Of course, I think with some imagination he might keep the social liberals AND conservatives on board, by emphasizing the possibility of fighting bigotry through cultural and social pressure on the one hand, and stoutly defending the right to discriminate privately on the other, but it’s tough to sound equally convincing on both fronts.

    1. Um, he was a supporter of DADT, against gay marriage, and supporter of Kim Davis.

      So, seeing as he’s on board with enforcing bigotry through government force, I think it’s a bit insane to expect him to support “fighting bigotry through cultural and social pressure”.

      Now, if only someone could find a quote where he was speaking about Lawrence v. Texas, but I think it predates his political career.

      1. I don’t see how any of those are examples of “enforcing bigotry through government force”. Getting the special tax breaks that come with government recognition of your marriage is a privilege, not a natural right. The real libertarian approach should be to take away government’s power to license marriages completely, though at the same time I think different parts of the country need to be allowed to disagree on the matter and the federal government needs to be stripped of jurisdiction over this kind of social legislation. Local government is what we need, not a bulldozing central authority.

        As for Kim Davis, I don’t understand why she didn’t just resign her position, but throwing her in jail was extreme. The whole thing was blown way out of proportion and if a politician’s position on that issue is some kind of litmus test for you, then I can only say that you obviously don’t see the forest for the trees.

        Don’t ask, don’t tell: well the whole point of the military is that soldiers aren’t expected to have Constitional rights in the first place. When you join the armed forces, you surrender your civil rights. So the question should be simply this: what makes a more effective fighting force? One where gay members are allowed to express their sexuality openly, or one where they are expected to hide it? Trying to enforce PC on the military is stupid if it hinders their ability to do their job.

  24. He should have answered with:

    I personally believe that U.S. Americans are unable to do so because, uh, some, uh, people out there in our nation don’t have maps and, uh, I believe that our education like such as in South Africa and, uh, the Iraq, everywhere like such as, and, I believe that they should, our education over here in the U.S. should help the U.S., uh, or, uh, should help South Africa and should help the Iraq and the Asian Countries, so we will be able to build up our future [for our children].

    1. Holy shit, I bet his pants crease would turn razor-sharp as he said that!

  25. My question for any Gay/Black/Crippled Libertarians (if they truly exists):

    Should employer’s be OK with discriminating against Gay/Blacks/Crippled?

    I know the general libertarian stance is that the government should only protect employers and job creators and the employee should simply shut up, go to hell, or go get a job somewhere else.

    For libertarians, having laws that protect commerce is a good thing. Laws that protect employees or the little guy that is not “a capitalist or businessman”, that’s too much government intervention.

    I just wanted to hear what the non-white and/or non-straight libertarians feel about this?

    1. “I just wanted to hear what the non-white and/or non-straight libertarians feel about this?” That’s pretty racist/heterophobic.

    2. I know the general libertarian stance is that the government should only protect employers and job creators and the employee should simply shut up, go to hell, or go get a job somewhere else.

      Uh. No.

      1. Uh. Yes.

        Libertarians believe in Economic Liberty and the Employ At Will which specifically allows an employer to hire and/fire whomever and an employee to work or not work for whomever.

        These pesky discrimination laws get in the way with that.
        Besides, as Paul mentions in the video, it’s virtually impossible to prove discrimination. No one ever says, “I’m firing that faggot”. They say “we’re having tough economic times and we have to let you go”.

        1. Re: Alice Bowie,

          Libertarians believe in Economic Liberty and the Employ At Will which specifically allows an employer to hire and/fire whomever and an employee to work or not work for whomever.

          I gather that you DON’T believe in Economic Liberty and in the freedom to employ or fire whoever you want?

          These pesky discrimination laws get in the way with that.

          They’re not “pesky”. They’re inherently immoral and criminal. They stem from the premise that what YOU own is really someone else’s once you decide to hire him or her. That’s call legal thievery.

          Besides, as Paul mentions in the video, it’s virtually impossible to prove discrimination.

          It’s actually impossible to prove that one did NOT discriminate based on race, or gender, or sexual orientation. Discrimination laws impose the burden of proof on the employer and the impossible task of proving a negative.

          Change your prescription medication, Alice. The one you’re taking is provoking you to become unintelligent.

        2. Alice, anti-discrimination laws also interfere with employees’ freedom of association. For example, a group of women who prefer to work with only women. Or people who prefer to work with exceptionally beautiful people. Or people who want a flirty environment that conflicts with contemporary “hostile environment” standards. There are parallels to workplace safety laws.

        3. So… You’re admitting that anti discrimination laws are useless. So why have them? And so why do gay people have jobs? Think about it.

    3. Re: Alice Bowey,

      Should employer’s be OK with discriminating against Gay/Blacks/Crippled?

      What’s with the apostrophe?

      I know the general libertarian stance is that the government should only protect employers and job creators and the employee should simply shut up, go to hell, or go get a job somewhere else.

      The government should go away. That’s MY stand. I don’t know which “libertarians” you claim to know. Maybe you should switch to a different prescription medication before sitting in front of a computer again.

      I just wanted to hear what the non-white and/or non-straight libertarians feel about this?

      What makes you think they’re special?

    4. Hi there, friend! I was just scrolling through and saw your post, and I’d like to take the opportunity to answer your questions. Don’t worry – I’m only half-white! I hope my privilege isn’t too strong for your liking.

      Anyway: in general, the libertarian stance is that laws should exist only to protect entities from fraud or force. It’s true that corporations aren’t literally human beings, but they are owned by human beings, and by hampering a corporation from doing business, you’re impacting someone’s livelihood. So, we believe that individuals – both in the course of their personal lives and business activities – should be free to engage in voluntary transactions with other entities as long as nobody is being coerced or defrauded.

      The mistake you seem to have made is believing that one person has a definite right to associate with another person, and that the second person should be forced to associate with them in return – e.g., that a business MUST serve a customer that they don’t want to, or that a business MUST hire and keep an employee that they don’t like. We don’t think this way; it conflicts with our core philosophy of voluntary interactions.

      (to be continued)

      1. (continued)

        In another post within this comment thread, you said,

        “No one ever says, “I’m firing that faggot”. They say “we’re having tough economic times and we have to let you go”.

        … Which is why libertarians generally believe that anti-discrimination laws are a bad idea. The reason that someone was fired is impossible to determine. Anti-discrimination laws just open up the business to a lawsuit when they have a legitimate reason to fire someone who happens to be LGBT, an ethnic minority, disabled, etc. You can see how this actually creates DISincentives for hiring these people in the first place. Isn’t it funny how how laws sometimes do the opposite of the stated intention? Finally, if businesses want to deprive themselves of potential talent based on race, gender, or sexual orientation, why stop them? Won’t they be punished in due time? If someone systematically hires based on those demographics rather than actual performance, their equality-minded competition is bound to eat them alive.

        Well, I hope this was helpful! Please let me know if you would like me to clear up any more of your misconceptions.

        1. Why is being discriminated against not a form of harm worth having laws against? Especially if you support such government protections as limited liability and bankruptcy protection.

          1. Re: Tony the Marxian,

            Why is being discriminated against not a form of harm[?]

            Because the person is not taking anything from the other person.

            The job belongs to the EMPLOYER, not the employee.
            The goods belong to the SELLER, not the buyer.

            Especially if you support such government protections as limited liability and bankruptcy protection.

            Both are government constructs. i don’t support government constructs.

            1. I wasn’t asking you. I know what you think. Everyone does. You’re an impressively consistent lunatic anarchist.

              1. Re: Tony the Marxian,

                I wasn’t asking you.

                See me care.

                I know what you think.

                Actually, no, you don’t.

          2. And, yet again, “limited liability” for corporations is not some special favor or intrusion on the natural order of things.

            It simply means that somebody who is a passive owner, and has no role in whatever happened to cause harm, shouldn’t have to worry about being sued. Its a pretty straight application of basic principles of personal responsibility: You are liable for what you do (or don’t do but have a duty to do), and not liable for things that you don’t do, don’t have a duty to do, and have no ability to control.

            Now, I know leftists can never get their fill of collective responsibility, so they will never give up on this.

            1. It’s part and parcel of the government construct “the corporation.” It’s rights invented from thin air for a social purpose, absolutely indistinguishable in principle from rights against discrimination. The only difference is libertarians pretend that all the goodies given to wealthy and powerful interests spring from nature, and the ones demanded by the weak and powerless are handouts to parasites.

              1. “The only difference is libertarians pretend that all the goodies given to wealthy and powerful interests spring from nature, and the ones demanded by the weak and powerless are handouts to parasites.”

                I guess you don’t pay much attention here. Most Reason writers and commenters are consistently against subsidies for giant businesses as well as stupid regulations that prevent poor people from making a living (the war against Uber, licensing of hair braiders, etc.)

              2. As always, the proggies can’t see the principles for the principals.

                I say “limited liability is a logical application of principles of personal responsibility”.

                Tony “refutes” this by saying “But the Wrong People might benefit.”

                The difference between anti-discrimination law and limited liability is this:

                Anti-discrimination law asserts that other people have the right to get into your pocket because they are members of certain group. Collectivism, see?

                Corporate liability laws say other people don’t have a right to get into your pocket without some showing of actual, personal responsibility for causing them harm. Personal responsibility, see?

                They aren’t “indistinguishable in principle”. They are opposed in principle.

              3. Re: Tony the Marxian,

                It’s part and parcel of the government construct “the corporation.”

                RC, Tony the Marxian plays a sleazy double game. If you do not support the personhood of corporations, you are a lunatic anarchist, but if you do, then you cannot be a consistent libertarian.

                The only difference is libertarians pretend that all the goodies given to wealthy and powerful interests spring from nature

                There’s no intelligence behind that statement at all. It is pure, unadulterated platitude.

                The only things that a person legitimately possess is anything given to him voluntarily or obtained through mixing his labor with the land. That’s it. That is what libertarians believe.

              4. Tony. ask yourself this. If you opened up a Gay Bar. Does it make sense to hire gay men as Bartenders, or should you hire Straight men ?

                1. That depends, which stereotypes do you harbor?

                  Also: are you hoping your bar will be busy enough the bartender doesn’t have time to flirt?

          3. Why is being discriminated against not a form of harm worth having laws against?

            What harm?

            What rights are violated?

            You don’t have a right to a particular job, or to a cake from a particular bakery, so why should you be able to sue if you don’t have a particular job, or get a cake from a particular bakery?

            1. One can have a right not to be fired for how he was born. It happens if we make it a right.

              1. What you are referring to are actually “privileges” or “entitlements”, not “rights”, Tony.

                1. RC,

                  He is well aware of that. He’s simply being his dishonest self.

              2. “One can have a right not to be fired for how he was born”

                You basically described the situation in a way that completely ignores the existence of the other party. It’s no different from the bullshit passive tense that police PR flacks use to excuse their crimes, e.g., “the gun discharged at the unarmed black man”.

                More honestly, you’re saying “a person in a certain type of relationship with another person should have the right to compel the other person to continue that relationship against the other person’s will, absent some fault on the part of the first person”. What’s your opinion on no-fault divorce?

              3. Tony: “One can have a right not to be fired for how he was born. It happens if we make it a right.”

                What gives you the right to make something a right?

      2. Actually, a “corporation” is a special thing created by government, which receives special privileges under law not available to others.

        I have absolutely no problem with government saying “in exchange for receiving all the special privileged protections that come with incorporation — like limited liability — you also must accept government rules on employment, including non-discrimination law. If you want to fire your gay or black employees, that’s a free association right, but only INDIVIDUALS and not corporate entities have those. Be a sole proprietorship and lose out on all the corporate bennies if that’s what you want to do.”

        1. That would be something to argue if corporate status had much to do with nondiscrimination rules surrounding protected classes applying to an employer.

        2. That would be something to argue if corporate status had much to do with nondiscrimination rules surrounding protected classes applying to an employer.

        3. Well, you’re a fascist, so it’s not entirely surprising that you support outright Italian style fascism. That notwithstanding, even the anarcho-capitalists who oppose the corporate structure as currently constituted acknowledge that the exact same limitation of liability could and would exist in an anarchist society by contract. The “privilege” of limited liability is a simple legal shorthand for something that could and would exist anyway, and the primary purpose is to extract additional fees for the government, like any other type of licensing.

    5. I just wanted to hear what the non-white and/or non-straight libertarians feel about this?

      I’m a quarter-Mexican, and have some rather entertaining (to me, anyway) sexual habits. Do I count?

    6. Alice. If I you were an employer looking for a someone to manage a Nuclear Power Plant. Would you hire a Fashion Designer for that job ?

  26. I’ve been in liberal land for a few days and I have to say thank you to libertarians for no longer being fanatical culty worshipers of a politician. Not like those goddamned Bernie people.

    1. So the real Tony quit, and you’ve taken over his account? Or his mom’s basement? Or his body?

      1. He is one of Hilary’s serfs.

  27. IIRC, during the 2012 election cycle he admitted he was against the CRA (1964) in it’s entirety as it applied to businesses. If he had stuck to that he could at least claim he was being principled.

    But speaking against non-discrimination laws when it comes to LGBT people, and LGBT people only? Doesn’t look very principled, just makes him look like another gay-hating social conservative.

    Which brings me to another point… people need to stop expecting Rand Paul to act like a Libertarian or libertarian. He has said, directly, that he is not. He is a Republican and he is a social conservative. Being surprised that he’s against anything that can be perceived as “pro gay” is like being surprised that the Pope is Catholic.

    1. Re: EscherEnigma,

      He has said, directly, that he is not. He is a Republican and he is a social conservative.

      Why can’t you be a social conservative and not be in favor of Property Rights?

      1. Irrelevant.

        I am not saying he isn’t a libertarian because of anything he has said or done. I am saying he isn’t a libertarian because *he* has said he isn’t a libertarian and when it comes to self-identification my default is to defer to the person as to how they identify.

        Or, to put it another way… if you want me to believe Rand Paul is a libertarian, you must first convince me that he is *lying* about not being a libertarian.

        1. Re: EscherEnigma,

          I am saying he isn’t a libertarian because *he* has said he isn’t a libertarian

          You are missing the point. I am not arguing about his libertarian credentials but about the philosophical objection on anti-discrimination laws where they affect private property owners.

          1. I’m not *missing* the point, I’m *ignoring* a tangent to *stay* on point.

  28. I suppose you could justify firing a homo because they are so damn stupid, sexually speaking, and so cannot be trusted in other arenas. It’s time to stop believing that homosexuality is anything other than a mental illness/confusion. A three year old child can understand the absurdity.

    1. If we’re so “stupid, sexually speaking,” how come it’s you guys having all the accidental offspring? We gays never do that.

      1. Re: Tony the Marxian,

        If we’re so “stupid, sexually speaking,” how come it’s you guys having all the accidental offspring?

        The only accidental offspring there could be would be babies one finds at the doorsteps of churches.

        What a maroon.

      2. well, if you don’t know how come Tony, you’re kinda proving his point.

      3. I love this. A Homosexual Fascist arguing with a Straight Fascist. You two should get married. =)

    2. What’s “stupid” about homosexuality?

      1. Buttsex is gross. And no straight people ever engage in weird or risky sexual behavior.

        1. *sex* is gross. And there have been studies on how we’re adapted to overcome this by being more willing/happy to do gross things when we’re aroused.

        2. That might be an answer to some other question, but not to the one that was posed…
          🙂

    3. Wait… nobody pointed out the illogic in YOUR last post… “homosexuality is anything other than a mental illness/confusion”…

      You’ve never met or talked to a gay or lesbian for any length of time, have you?

  29. Here’s one to run up the proverbial flagpole:

    “In a very real sense, it wouldn’t matter. These days, a company firing someone for being gay would be almost immediately held to account all over Facebook and Twitter. They’d not only be slammed all over place for being discriminatory, but they’d also be quickly punished by boycotts that can be set up, organized and pushed into critical mass in less than a day.

    “Many of you have seen this happen in real time. If you love social pressure – people power – seeing a bad-actor company Twitter-flogged is a real thing of beauty.

    “It points to a future where you, me, We the People can call a bad-actor corporation to account, punish it in the only way its top executives will understand, and force it to disgorge restitution…long before any regulator opens the case file!

    “So in answer to your question, I would have to say that repeal of anti-discrimination laws would grant employers the freedom to be profoundly stupid. Would they exercise it? Only if they’re profoundly clueless or suicidal. Thanks to social networking, the real power of the people is there to see. Real power, direct power, power that moves much faster than the speed of government!

    “Yes, I know about the perils of cyberbullying, but consider the government’s answer to cyberbullying: miscarriages of justice – and police abuse. Thank you for your question, and I’d be glad to take another.”

    [Okay, okay, I’m keepin’ my day job…]

  30. “Reason” has been ultimately unreasonable on this whole issue. It’s amazing to see someone that identifies itself with such a title see so little attempt to exercise the namesake intellectual muscle.

    Instead of a stupid “I feel your pain, poor guys losing their job” (just because they’re addicted to hedonism), turn it back on the real bullies. lf discrimination and losing one’s livelihood is the subject, what about the couple that lost their bakery business because the bully lesbians’ feelings were hurt? They couldn’t prove any monetary damages, so THE STATE ordered compensation for the EMOTIONAL “hurt feelings”.

    Afterthought almost always beats out “thinking on your feet”. Time to turn the heat on the bullies, instead of telling people to change their wording.

    Gays aren’t the only ones that have a difficult job situation these days, what with the Fed and the politicians and the cultural dysfunction that the Malthusians are pushing.

    1. If you’re talking about the Kleins of Oregon, they didn’t lose their bakery because of anything the lesbians did, they closed their public store front and changed their business model such that they weren’t a public accommodation and could discriminate as much as they wanted.

      1. they didn’t lose their bakery because of anything the lesbians did

        Nah, they weren’t gonna use that 135k anyway…

  31. Homosexual people would be able to find a lot of places to work at. Assume that 5% of the work force is gay. Assume that 50% of voters are willing to vote for anti-discrimination laws. Assume that employers are equally represented among voters for and voters against anti-discrimination laws. This means that 50% of all employers are willing to hire homosexuals, a group that constitutes a mere 5% of the work force. Assume that 20% of all employers are even willing to apply private affirmative action. With a group that consitutes a mere 5% of the work force, that would give homosexuals considerable opportunities. You’d have homosexuals competing for relatively more fewer and better jobs, and heterosexuals competing for relatively fewer and worse jobs.

    As for freedom of association and negative liberty, sugar-coating and avoiding what that means is a bad idea. It should be expressed clearly and directly. Then a utilitarian argument can be added, independently.

    1. The word “fewer” is an artifact of editing. Here’s a fix: “You’d have homosexuals competing for relatively more [(absolutely fewer)] and better jobs, and heterosexuals competing for relatively fewer and worse jobs.”

    2. There’s a lot of assumptions built in there, even aside from the ones you call out explictly.

      First big one is that when the employer is interviewing people, he’s upfront about being anti-gay. Unless you’ve made a national name for yourself in the last five years, why would someone applying to work at your small business bakery expect you to be anti-gay?

      Second is that the employee is obviously gay and the employer will know this before hiring them. I don’t know about you, but at my last job interview I wore a gray suit with a blue tie. I left the leather harness and novelty pride tie at home.

      And once you’re *in* a job, you’ve paid the opportunity cost. Turned down other offers, paid moving costs, etc.

      Then, of course, there’s the scenario where you boss changes. Old boss might be fine with something, but he leaves/retires/gets promoted, and the new boss suddenly isn’t fine with something.

      So, quite frankly, your theory relies on companies/businesses being both homogeneous in outlook and up-front about biases. Two things that are, quite simply, fantasy.

  32. Yes, who wants a trannie working at Hooter’s?

  33. Ya know, I read all the usual rhetoric about at-will employment, free association, etc. and I wonder “how come such spirited opposition to free association rights is completely absent from most ‘libertarians’ when it comes to, say, non-discrimination laws that Republicans like around religious freedom?”

    Then I realize that it’s because so very many libertarians have spent the last three decades or so doing the political equivalent of lovingly swirling their tongues around Republican dick.

    Which is, I must say, pretty gay.

    1. I am not aware of libertarian support for laws stating that the followers of x region should be a protected class.
      The bakers who didn’t want to bake a cake for a gay wedding ceremony, for instance, were not employees who were fired, they were contractors who wished to exercise their own freedom of association.

      1. I’m not sure about “support”, but libertarians and Libertarians are, broadly speaking, okay with the status quo where religion is a protected class under the Civil Rights Act of 1964.

        Most commonly these days when you hear people complaining about non-discrimination protections, whether the person is a libertarian, conservative, Libertarian or Republican, it’s in how they relate to gay people.

        Or, to put it another way… despite how much libertarians/Libertarians may argue *against* non-discrimination laws that include sexual orientation/gender identity, you don’t really hear them arguing for the *repeal* of the Civil Rights Act as it applies to private businesses.

        1. I’m not sure about “support”, but libertarians and Libertarians are, broadly speaking, okay with the status quo where religion is a protected class under the Civil Rights Act of 1964.

          God fucking dammit! If only some libertarians around here had opposed the CRA as a whole and on principle, you wouldn’t be able to make this argument.

          Oh wait… plenty of us have and did. So, from a free association/business perspective… go ahead, discriminate against everyone you think might be a Christian or Muslim, or that you feel is foisting their anti-homosexual religious values on you.

          Good luck.

      2. There were a fair number of libertarians here defending Kim Davis’s “freedom of religion” right to not issue marriage licenses to gay couples, so I think it’s a fiar criticism.

        1. To be clear, there were a fair number defending the position that Kim Davis not be imprisoned for it and did so on libertarian grounds, not necessarily or strictly religious grounds.

          Some, rather explicitly, equated the states’ use of force and violation of property rights to prevent action (as in Lawrence v. Texas) with it’s use of force and oppression of free speech/association to compel action. The fact that Kim Davis was a Christian employee of the Government being of equal(ly trivial) moral value/objective consideration as the fact that Lawrence was partaking of actions that were illegal by the laws on the books.

    2. I wonder “how come such spirited opposition to free association rights is completely absent from most ‘libertarians’ when it comes to, say, non-discrimination laws that Republicans like around religious freedom?”

      And then you realized “Holy shit, I’m actually a hopeless liar, freedom of association has been a fundamental principal of libertarianism since the movement began. I guess I had better try and find a better way to obfuscate my fascist tendencies!”

  34. He could point out that, if an employer should be free to fire someone for expressing opinions that have nothing to do with his job, e.g. for saying that marriage should be between a man and a woman when his job is software engineering, then an employer has a right to fire someone for any other reason that has nothing to do with the job.

  35. “Should the social structure that exists around you provide you with both a living and, unquestionably, with a job? Or even both *your* wage and *your* job, unquestionably? Personally, I’d want any part of that situation to be questionable. I’d like to be able to talk myself into a raise or a better position. And I’d like the answer to any questions that do arise, as much as possible, to be at the discretion of the relationship between myself and my employer.”

    Unless you’ve been a union auto-worker for the last 30 yrs. the ‘jobs are hard to come by’ rhetoric is B.S. Unless millions of illegal immigrants are starving to death in the streets and everyone missed it or they are living on mana that the rest of us don’t have access to, they generally manage to find work, transportation, and shelter, as well as modern amenities like Cable TV and iPhones. Frequently, they perform this unknown magic without speaking the language and while providing support to family members in and out of country.

  36. How many of you can’t see that Rand Paul is partially Libertarian and partially Conservative Republican?!

    I’ve noticed it for a year or two and stopped contributing to his campaign as a result. His views on gays keep leaking out.

    Calling him a Libertarian is like the old ‘lipstick on a pig’ joke.

  37. I cannot hear a word the antichoice republican is saying.

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