the national interest

Rand Paul: Let’s Not Impinge on Your Boss’s Freedom to Fire Gay People

Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) delivers remarks while announcing his candidacy for the Republican presidential nomination during an event at the Galt House Hotel on April 7, 2015 in Louisville, Kentucky.
Rand Paul says leave the gay stuff at home, gay people. Photo: Luke Sharrett/Getty Images

Remember the Libertarian Moment? It was just a year ago when, if you squinted just so at some rigged opinion polling from libertarian pressure groups, it sort of looked like young voters might want to support Rand Paul and his cool anti-government ideals. The main problem with this concept was that young voters are extremely pro-government on economic policy, whereas Paul is extremely anti-government. The second problem is that, on social policy, Paul’s libertarianism often verges uncomfortably close to old-fashioned right-wing social conservatism. Paul today explains why he opposes laws to protect people from being fired from their job for being LGBT:

Paul has lots of reasons for why it shouldn’t be illegal to fire gay people:

1. Gay people can leave the gay stuff at home and nobody would know, just like nobody knows if their co-workers are straight: “I think, really the things you do in your house, if you could just leave them in your house, they wouldn’t have to be part of the workplace, to tell you the truth.”

2. We already have too many things you can’t fire people for being, so let’s not add more, which would lead to longer laws and who-knows-how-much eye strain for the human-resources staffers: “I don’t know why we need to keep adding to different classifications to say the government needs to get involved in hiring or firing.”

3. It is happening on its own: “I think society is rapidly changing.”

4. If it was illegal to fire people for being LGBT, there might be lawsuits to enforce the law: “It sets up a whole industry for people who want to sue.”

5. If you do get fired for being LGBT, you can just go work somewhere else: “If you happen to be gay, there are plenty of places that will hire you.”

So the magic of the free market has eliminated the problem of anti-LGBT discrimination in the workplace, without any onerous regulations, just like it eliminated racial discrimination without burdensome civil-rights laws. Oh, wait.

Rand Paul: Don’t Impinge on Freedom to Fire Gays