Says “When there’s a majority of people in our state that thinks LGBT rights are an important issue, and thinks that they want representation to do that, it’ll happen”
Says First Amendment Allows LGBT To Be Discriminated Due To “Religious Liberty
Nebraska Republican State Senator Bill Kintner had some choice words on talk radio to rationalize his decision to vote towards killing a proposal which would protect LGBT individuals from discrimination in the state, saying that “men in dresses” don’t deserve protected class status.
The bill, LB 586, would have made it illegal for employers to fire someone because of their sexual identity, as current federal and state laws exclude this demographic. The bill was killed by a vote of 26-18.
“When I go to San Francisco, sometimes I’ve seen some pretty weird things there,” said Kintner during the floor debate, “And I’m not that comfortable in San Francisco. But you know the difference between conservatives and my friends on the left? When I’m not comfortable someplace I leave. I go somewhere I am comfortable, I move to the state I am comfortable. I like it.”
When asked to clarify these remarks to KMTV, he merely said “Well first of all — there’s nothing to make you feel uncomfortable. There’s no one discriminating against you. There’s no laws to discriminate against you. There’s nothing to make you feel uncomfortable. It’s a state of mind. We have a live and let live state. It’s just not an issue for most people.”
As uncomfortable as those remarks were, the Senator saved his most astonishing remarks for his appearance on News Talk 1290 with host Matt Tompkins, where he argued further that there are no problems with discrimination in Nebraska, and then immediately contradicted himself by saying that the Constitution allows people to violate gay individuals’ civil rights, and that businesses should be able to “make it known” if they don’t want to serve LGBT people by providing them with bad service.
“When there’s a majority of people in our state that thinks LGBT rights are an important issue, and thinks that they want representation to do that, it’ll happen,” said Kintner, “There were 40,000 people who elected me to represent them.”
Kintner’s comments come amid heightened awareness to GOP-held state legislatures increasing their intensity in the fight to continue legalized discrimination towards the LGBT community.
Last week, North Carolina passed what is widely regarded as the most anti-LGBT legislation in the country, effectively preventing its cities and counties from offering discrimination protections. On Monday, Georgia’s governor vetoed a similar bill that would have allowed businesses like adoption agencies refuse to serve same-sex couples, which SCOTUS rejected swiftly as well in Alabama.
The bills familiarly continue to be justified under the guise of “religious liberty.” In Kintner’s case, his belief in religious freedom leads him to the belief that LGBT individuals don’t deserve a protected class because it will be exploited.
“If you have another protected class, you will have problems,” said Kintner “If you get an employee who is habitually late – he’s just not a very good employee – and you sit him down and say ‘Joe you’re late too often, you don’t get your done on time, you’re not doing the job right, you’ve gotta straighten up or we’re going to replace you. And he says ‘You know, I feel like a woman today.’ Now we’ve got a whole problem if you’re trying to get rid of him.”
Another elegant insight came when Kintner effectively argued that the First Amendment of the Constitution allows people and businesses to violate the civil rights of LGBT people.
TOMPKINS: The First Amendment doesn’t grant you the right to discriminate against other people and violate their civil rights that the Constitution also protects.
KINTNER: Oh yes it does. Oh yes it does.
TOMPKINS: There are people affected that are being discriminated against. It may not be signs on the restaurant or signs at city hall, but it is happening, so I don’t understand why it’s…
KINTNER: Well, if you have a restaurant, and they’re not overtly discriminating but, you know, they’re kind of making it known that you know, we don’t like men sitting around in dresses, you now, that stuff takes care of itself. Word will get out that this place doesn’t serve everyone. It doesn’t give everyone equal treatment. If you’re a man wearing a dress it takes you an hour to get waited on, and for everyone else it takes 20 minutes … that’s called bad service.
TOMPKINS: But that argument was the same argument people used in the civil rights era. You’re saying it’s okay that if a black person, if it takes an hour for them to get service, that’s just bad service so a black person just shouldn’t go to that restaurant?
KINTNER: That’s called bad service.
Kintner is known previously to the LGBT for calling newly introduced legislation in 2013 that would finally allow same-sex coupled to adopt or be foster parents “homosexual bills.”
Yet another reminder that the Democrats need a strong showing in state elections this November along with the national races.