Monday, September 12, 2011

Gay GOP Leader: Vote for Rick Perry

On the show last week I spoke to Rob Schlein, president of the Log Cabin Republicans of Dallas, who had written this piece in which he said that though he likes Jon Hunstman best he'd support Texas Governor Rick Perry over President Obama because LGBT people need to think about their "pocketbooks" first and their rights later. But the conversation got into other areas, including his claim that, as an employer, he could get around firing someone for being black. Some excerpts (full audio below):

Schlein: When I evaluate a candidate I look at what’s feasible...I don’t think a ban on gay marriage is a realistic legislative agenda...I believe Rick Perry is placating to a social conservative base…

Signorile: But why would you support someone who is placating your enemies, giving them more power, allowing them to organize against you?...Why support someone who is literally saying your rights are not worth much?

Schlein: Well you know, I look at the whole picture...

He went on to say that gays and lesbians need jobs and that he trusts Perry’s jobs plan. I pointed out that Perry is against an anti-discrimination law protecting gays and lesbians, which is certainly about helping LGBT people keep their jobs. I then pointed out that in most states, including Texas people can be fired for being gay or transgender. He responded by implying that anti-discrimination laws don’t matter because he could fire anyone for any reason anyway:

Schlein: Texas is a right to work state. So as an employer, which I am, I can fire anyone at will, there’s no such obligation.

Signorile: You can’t fire someone for being black---

Schlein: I can them for whatever reason I want---

Signorile: You cannot fire someone for being African-American...

Schlein: Well, I wouldn’t tell them...

Signorile:Well, you wouldn’t tell them, but you’d do it anyway?

Schlein: Well, I sure wouldn’t tell them...I’d find a reason if I wanted to fire them...

Signorile: You'd find a reason to fire someone because they're black?

Schlein: I'd find a reason if I wanted to fire anybody not respective of race. It's not about race.

Listen in to the full interview.