Congressman Maintains It Should Be Legal To Fire Someone For Being Gay, Attacks ThinkProgress

Rep. James Lankford (R-OK)

During an interview last week, Rep. James Lankford (R-OK) told ThinkProgress that he doesn’t believe that LGBT people should be protected from being fired because of their sexual orientation.

But yesterday, Lankford went on Oklahoma local television to say that we misrepresented his comments. According to Lankford, he wasn’t saying employers should be allowed to fire someone for being gay — just that being gay is a choice and LGBT people should not be protected from workplace discrimination.

Did you notice the distinction? Neither did we.

According to the station, Oklahoma News 6, Lankford reaffirmed that being gay is a choice and shouldn’t be protected while simultaneously denying that he thinks it should be legal to fire someone for it:

After an impromptu interview with Rep. Lankford, the liberal blog “Think Progress,” reported Lankford said he believes an employer should be able to fire someone for his or her sexual orientation.

Lankford said the blog misrepresented what he said. He said he told the interviewer being gay is a choice and should not be protected from workplace discrimination. He said he believes the distinction lies in a person’s choice to act on their sexual orientation.

Watch it:

For comparison’s sake, here is the main paragraph from our original post:

In a conversation on Capitol Hill, Lankford expressed his strong belief that being gay is a choice, and that LGBT workers should not be protected from workplace discrimination because it’s something they can change. “You don’t walk up to someone on the street and look at them and say, ‘gay or straight?’”

Lankford also accused ThinkProgress of singling him out for being Christian, a charge so absurd it doesn’t even merit a response.


Rep. Lankford has told a local Oklahoma station that he has received threats over his opposition to protecting LGBT people from workplace discrimination.

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