As momentum for LGBT employment nondiscrimination protections increases, conservatives have begun to retaliate, claiming such policies somehow create special privileges for LGBT people. Rep. Tim Huelskamp (R-KS), one of the most anti-gay members of Congress, made just such a claim on Tony Perkins’ radio show on Tuesday. According to Huelskamp, equal protections under the law for gays and lesbians are “radical ideas” that “selectively reward homosexual behavior”:
HUELSKAMP: The response from the general leadership is: gosh, we can’t talk about social issues. But the President can? Someone has to stand up and defend the seventy percent position that most Americans support traditional marriage, most Americans understand the value of family, they understand it’s under attack and they understand that, they see it, they believe it. So we got to stand up. I’ve always been confused by Republicans that refuse to support a seventy percent position and say, ‘gosh we can’t take our stand there.’ But whether it’s Obamacare, whether it’s these radical DoD [Department of Defense] proposals coming out of the White House or changing all the employment rules to specifically and selectively reward homosexual behavior, those are really radical ideas and most Americans do not accept them.
So we’ll have an opportunity to hear from the President but again don’t forget he is a lame duck President, he’s not running for election again and I think this could be the most radical we’ll hear from him in a long time because it is Obama unleashed. We’re going to hear tonight probably exactly what he would like to do and he promised he’s going to change America and he’s still after that agenda and that goal.
Listen to it (via RightWingWatch):
A “reward” implies something special or extra that other people are not entitled to. The only “reward” of employment protections for gay people is getting to keep their jobs. Granting benefits to the same-sex partners of military servicemembers does not create “a new class of beneficiary” as the Family Research Council claimed on Tuesday; the only reason there is a separate class is because some families are still treated different than others.
It’s clear that opponents of equality would prefer that the LGBT community remain second-class citizens. When they object to basic nondiscrimination protections, the special “reward” they’re afraid of is fairness under the law.