DENVER, Colorado — A Republican Congressman has broken with his party and announced his support for the Employment Non-Discrimination Act, a key piece of legislation that would make it illegal to discriminate against LGBT individuals in the workplace.
“I don’t believe we ought to be discriminating against people for their private lives,” Rep. Scott Tipton (R-CO) explained to ThinkProgress outside Wednesday’s presidential debate. “I’m a businessman. When you walk in the door, if you’re able to do the job and you’re focused on your job, that’s all that’s important”:
SCOTT KEYES (TP): Federal legislation making it illegal to fire someone for being gay, for instance. What would you think about a bill like that?
TIPTON: I’m a businessman. When you walk in the door, if you’re able to do the job and you’re focused on your job, that’s all that’s important.
KEYES: I assume you wouldn’t fire someone for being gay. But do you think it should be illegal for other businesses to do that?
TIPTON: I think we’ve got a good policy in this country of not being discriminatory and we should not be in regards to people’s personal lives. It is in the employment into the world. It’s about the ability to be able to do the job. That’s certainly my focus.
KEYES: So you would probably be voting in favor of something like the Employment Non-Discrimination Act?
TIPTON: Yeah, yeah. I don’t believe we ought to be discriminating against people for their private lives.
Listen to it:
ENDA has floundered in Congress because Tipton’s colleagues in the Republican caucus have repeatedly voted it down. Their rationales have ranged from believing homosexuality is a “choice” to calling the legislation a “war on religion“.