Colorado Congressman Turns On Tea Party And Backs (Some) LGBT Rights (AUDIO)

Scott Tipton (R-CO), a Congressman who was backed by the Tea Party in 2010, has broken ranks…sort of. Outside of Wednesday’s Presidential debate in Denver, Tipton said that he was against workplace discrimination for LGBT employees.

Transcript and audio from Think Progress:

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.

Yes, discriminating against good employees because of their personal lives makes lousy business sense, but good luck convincing Congress of it. The last time they voted on the Employee Non-Discrimination Act was in 2007 and Tipton declined to vote.

On his website, he proclaims that he is for “traditional marriage,” saying,
I believe marriage is the union of one man and one woman and that the marriage-centered family is the foundation of our society. I believe legislation regarding the definition of marriage should be left to be the people and their elected representatives in the states, not co-opted by judges and the federal government.

While federal law does not recognize equal rights for LGBT people in the workplace, Tipton’s home state of Colorado does.

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