North Dakota Congressman Unsure LGBT Discrimination Ever Happens

CREDIT: AP Photo/Bruce Crummy

Rep. Kevin Cramer (R-ND)

Responding to news that President Obama will soon sign an executive order protecting the LGBT employees of federal contractors from workplace discrimination, Rep. Kevin Cramer (R-ND) told KFYR-TV that he thinks it’s just a political move by the president.

“I’m not even sure that this is a problem,” he said. “I have to be honest, I don’t get many, if any. I don’t know that I’ve ever received a phone call in my office from somebody that says they’ve been discriminated against based on their sexual orientation.”

Cramer’s home state of North Dakota wrestled with the question of nondiscrimination protections just last year. The Republican-controlled state Senate rejected a bill that would have made it a crime to discriminate on the basis of sexual orientation. Before its ultimate demise, the bill had been watered down with an amendment such that discrimination would have been merely condemned, not outlawed, but even that did not pass. Opponents of the bill raised concerns about same-sex marriage, pedophilia, and Catholic business owners having to serve LGBT customers. North Dakota lawmakers were defending the very kind of discrimination Cramer doesn’t believe exists.

A Pew Research survey found that 21 percent of LGBT people have been treated unfairly by an employer because of their identity. Some surveys have suggested that as many as 43 percent of LGBT workers have experienced some form of discrimination on the job. For transgender people specifically, 90 percent have experienced workplace harassment or discrimination.

Cramer has previously implied that allowing same-sex couples to marry would increase crime rates and expressed disappointment in last year’s Supreme Court rulings in favor of marriage equality.

(HT: Huffington Post.)