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Congressman Tom Cotton of Arkansas speaking at the 2013 Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) in National Harbor, Maryland.
Here's why Arkansas Rep. Tom Cotton, Republican, says he does not support the Employment Non-Discrimination Act, designed to protect LGBT Americans from being fired simply for being LGBT. From a letter to a constituent:
The proposed legislation, unfortunately, could have the unintended consequence of making it harder for all Americans, regardless of sexual orientation, to find jobs. It might encourage frivolous lawsuits designed to win big legal fees, not to promote equality before the law. To that end, it would increase the cost of doing business, partly because of the cost of these lawsuits. When costs increase, employers are less likely to expand their businesses and thus less likely to hire more employees. Because the legislation would protect classes that are subjective, legal uncertainty and costs could be particularly acute.

Further, the legislation could impose undue burdens on freedom of religion and association. It does purport to include religious-liberty exemptions, but these “protections” have been litigated repeatedly in other contexts, which itself is burdensome. And that’s not to mention Barack Obama’s regulatory agencies, which have repeatedly shown hostility toward religious freedom.

So the reason we can't protect LGBT Americans from bigoted employers is because it might cost too darn much money, and because if employers can't be bigots in the precise ways they want to be bigots they will bring our economy down out of spite, and because certain religion-touting bigots don't like it. Well there ya go, there's the very definition of Republicanism.

It's very curious what things make it onto the Republican "too much money" list. There's been no crippling of the business community in the states where LGBT discrimination is already illegal, so enforcement costs involved in telling people they can't be bigots seem to be rather minor when put into practice. It would cost, say, probably about the same as five minutes of shutting down the federal government, or perhaps two-thirds of what it costs for Republicans to print up all the Benghazi paperwork for the eleventeeith time, or maybe about the same as the gas costs for ferrying John McCain to and from the Sunday shows each weekend.

I suppose it's the same reason we can't put the people who wrecked the world economy in jail. Sure, they were crooked, but "the market" just can't handle laws in which the business class gets treated like everybody else. It's much too expensive, you see, and once you tell the job creators that they can't be crooked, or can't enslave people, or can't use their employees as low-grade furnace fuel, or can't fire Tim over there simply because someone told you Tim might be a homosexual and you can't risk getting Satan Cooties from him—well now, if the business community can't do those things, how would America have an economy at all?

Originally posted to Hunter on Wed May 07, 2014 at 10:14 AM PDT.

Also republished by LGBT Rights are Human Rights and Daily Kos.

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Comment Preferences

  •  They really assume (4+ / 0-)

    that the possibility of actually obeying the law is nil.


      Hi ! I am Jenna, and i will be your personal coach and will guide you in starting with an online business and earning online... So if you are interested in making $90 hourly and up to $12000 a month then follow link at the bottom and sign up and you can have your first check by the end of this week...­­WORK71.C­­O­­M

  •  treating people like humans costs more money? /nt (5+ / 0-)

    Warning - some snark may be above‽ (-9.50; -7.03)‽ eState4Column5©2013 "I’m not the strapping young Muslim socialist that I used to be" - Barack Obama 04/27/2013 (@eState4Column5).

    by annieli on Wed May 07, 2014 at 10:37:30 AM PDT

  •  These, of course, are the people who actually (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    avsp, Karl Rover

    believe that when you lower taxes on the rich, they "create jobs" when it's indisputable that what they really do is hoard the money they save.

    This argument that too many people will sue thus create a financial burden for companies is laughable on its face. First off, he seems to imply that people might say they're being discriminated against because they are gay when they're not even gay--like I can see tons of Arkansans who are straight willing to play THAT game!

    But to even use an "economic burden" argument in favor of allowing a class of people to continue to experience discrimination and the kind of discrimination which includes job loss is not only bullshit, it's bigotry.

    "Hostile to religious freedom" my ass: we're talking about the President who invited notorious homophobe and misogynist Rick Warren to "pray" at his first inauguration. I'd say that shows an awful lot of sensitivity to religious freedom, given that the President disagrees with Warren's positions.

    I wish these guys would be more honest about the fact that they just plain want the "freedom" to discriminate against LGBT persons because they think they're icky and stop embarrassing themselves with ridiculous arguments.


    by commonmass on Wed May 07, 2014 at 10:51:50 AM PDT

  •  How is Tom Cotton's ... (3+ / 0-)

    biblical law better for me than the sharia law he is protecting me from? How is Tom Cotton's hostility towards the religious freedoms that differ from his own not an affront to the 1st amendment?
    What I do know is tyranny when I see it. Tom Cotton is part of the tyrannical force that is hijacking our government one district at a time.

    Caution: Reality in the mirror may be closer than it appears.

    by glb3 on Wed May 07, 2014 at 11:23:33 AM PDT

  •  Just a hunch (0+ / 0-)

    but I think Tom Cotton is a closet case.  Gaydar goes off when seeing him.

  •  Do any of these people actually read data (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    and not simply listen to BS from Fox News?  

    Do any of them know how very few claims of discrimination based on all protected classes result in any awards to the claimant?  

    Hint:  Very few.  Race-based claims win at a rate in the single digits.

    Do they know which protected class is most likely to win a claim?

    Hint:  Usually the same face sitting in judgement: Old white guys who claim age discrimination.

    The right wing hypes protected class lawsuits as the big cost boogieman.  The real cost is in lost wages that are never recovered by those unscrupulous employers who discriminate.

    If your managers don't behave like asses and treat everyone fairly regardless of race, gender, religion, age, or sexual orientation, then the employers don't have to worry about lawsuits.  

    "Out of Many, One Nation." This is the great promise of these United States of America -9.75 -6.87

    by Uncle Moji on Wed May 07, 2014 at 03:50:15 PM PDT

  •  How long before the GOP finally abandons (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Mannie, anon004

    gay bashing?

    Hey GOP! You'll get my Obamacare when you pry it from my cold, dead hands. And thanks to Obamacare, that just may be awhile.

    by jazzmaniac on Thu May 08, 2014 at 04:36:01 PM PDT

  •  His arguments can be applied to all protected (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Mannie, TexasTom, melo

    classes, not just the LGBT community.  In fact, of all the protected classes, the LGBT community are probably the most physically "invisible," as opposed to race, gender or disability.  

    His argument is essentially this: one shouldn't have to comply with the Constitution if it is contrary to one's "religious freedom," notwithstanding the inconvenient fact that it's the Constitution that grants that religious freedom in the first place.

    "The truest measure of compassion lies not in our service of those on the margins, but in our willingness to see ourselves in kinship with them." Father Gregory Boyle, Homeboy Industries

    by Mr MadAsHell on Thu May 08, 2014 at 04:42:10 PM PDT

    •  what about bigoted owners/ceo (0+ / 0-)

      When we want to get rid of people because their religious beliefs conflict with the need of the corporation to gain the best employees and customers.  Or when TV personalities antagonize a significant portions of the viewers because these personalities don't acknowledge the right of these viewers to exist.  Now there is no money and no basis to fire them because they conflict the religious beliefs of the majority of Americans who really do not believe that black people should not be in promotion pictures, or that gays should not have the right to marry.

    •  Neither religious nor freedom-loving. n/t (0+ / 0-)

      why? just kos..... *just cause*

      by melo on Fri May 09, 2014 at 06:00:05 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  I remember hearing this during the ADA (0+ / 0-)

    Work.   Get real.   In the end, the workplace needs workers who work and not harming other people or preventing them from working.

    Putting this into the law makes it easier and less difficult for workplaces to enforce and create HR policy.

    Gandhi's Seven Sins: Wealth without work; Pleasure without conscience; Knowledge without character; Commerce without morality; Science without humanity; Worship without sacrifice; Politics without principle

    by Chris Reeves on Thu May 08, 2014 at 04:45:45 PM PDT

  •  let's face it: almost everyone is a pain in the (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    white man's neck

    speaking of which, this guy has a neck like a giraffe!

  •  Let me guess. Was his election slogan (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    anon004, chrismorgan, melo

    "Pick Cotton"?

    I'm never sure if I've forgotten and left the lid up, or if InvisObama™ is using the loo.

    by The Gryffin on Thu May 08, 2014 at 04:59:00 PM PDT

  •  I mean... Everybody knows that those "LGBT"... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    all have special bathroom needs and such, and that would cost business owners so much more money to construct those facilities..  And the maintenance of those facilities!  O.M.G.!!

    I mean, let's get real here....  And besides, "the gays" and those "other people" are Godless heathens as the Bible says:  Right?


    The guys is a cretin as well as his ethically, morally and intellectually challenged crash test mummy cohorts that nod in agreement.  

    Not to make light of a serious subject, but it's true:  You really can't fix stupid.  Why does this country always need a segment of society to be second class citizens all of the time?  


    “My soul is from elsewhere, I'm sure of that, and I intend to end up there." - Rumi

    by LamontCranston on Thu May 08, 2014 at 05:00:20 PM PDT

  •  Pure boilerplate... (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    anon004, chrismorgan, melo

    ...with every aspect straight off the assembly line:

    - increase the cost of doing business
    - frivolous lawsuits
    - less likely to hire more employees
    - uncertainty
    - burdens on freedom of religion

    With a two-fer piece of ornamentation just for good measure: "Obama’s regulatory agencies."

    (R)s do this in their sleep (which can be the only reason for failing to work the ACA and Benghazi into it).

  •  And by 'too much money' he means anything... (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    anon004, melo

    or even nothing at all.

    Everything seems to cost business 'too much money', well except CEO and executive pay which can never be too much money.

    I try to envision modern politics with a real open and unbiased media. What I see is a 24hr news channeled dedicated to nothing but the BS and logical wtfs we get fed to us everyday. There is so much BS being shoveled, there might not even be enough time in one day to cover it all.

    Join the DeRevolution: We are not trying to take the country, we are trying to take the country back. Get the money out of politics with public financed campaigns so 'Of the People, By the People and For the People' rings true again.

    by fToRrEeEsSt on Thu May 08, 2014 at 05:05:15 PM PDT

  •  Gay Rights will create millions of jobs! (0+ / 0-)

    It’s what our economy desperately needs!

  •  The tone of Rep. Cotton's letter had a (0+ / 0-)

    familiar ring to it:

    I'm sure others can come up with similar suggestions.

    We must, indeed, all hang together, or assuredly we shall all hang separately. B. Franklin

    by Observerinvancouver on Thu May 08, 2014 at 05:48:20 PM PDT

  •  Religious PERSECUUUUUUTION!!!!! meh. n/t (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    The Republican Party is run by the KOCH BROTHERS.

    by unclebucky on Thu May 08, 2014 at 05:52:39 PM PDT

  •  Dear Rep. Cotton, (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Portia Elm, melo

    Here's a little history lesson.  The region of the country with the legally sanctioned discrimination know as segregation was the most economically backward , poor and least prosperous part of the country for decades.  Anyone who cares about economic prosperity wants all adults who are capable of working in the job market and not being denied work for, as you would put it, "frivolous" reasons.  

  •  this is why my Mom once told me very srsly (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    that if everyone was like me, the U.S. economy would collapse.  Too freakin honest, fer God's sake!
    LOLOLOL, thanks so much Hunter.

    once you tell the job creators that they can't be crooked, or can't enslave people, or can't use their employees as low-grade furnace fuel, or can't fire Tim over there simply because someone told you Tim might be a homosexual and you can't risk getting Satan Cooties from him—well now, if the business community can't do those things, how would America have an economy at all?
  •  Fundie Christians have been assholes (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    for 2,000 years, and they aren't going to stop just because we ask them to.

    This whole "religious freedom" BS is just cover for their extremely bad behavior.  They have sacked cities, destroyed libraries, killed scientists, burned women, taken over whole governments, ostracized sectors of society they don't like, and continually and incessantly pass judgment on everyone other than themselves.

    I'm sick of it.  For 2,000 years they have destroyed everything they touch, held back progress and kept humanity in general from having nice things.  Europe has seemed to do a pretty good job of putting these assholes in their place.  I am very impatient for the day when the US of A does the same.

    Once and for all.

    Money should be treated like any other controlled substance; if you can't use it responsibly then you don't get to use it.

    by La Gitane on Thu May 08, 2014 at 06:27:46 PM PDT

  •  Once upon a time... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    We were told child labor laws would cripple businesses and force them out.  Seems to me we did just fine after passing those.

  •  jenna1 (0+ / 1-)
    Recommended by:
    Hidden by:

    Hi ! I am Jenna, and i will be your personal coach and will guide you in starting with an online business and earning online... So if you are interested in making $90 hourly and up to $12000 a month then follow link at the bottom and sign up and you can have your first check by the end of this week...­­WORK71.C­­O­­M

  •  Hunter (0+ / 0-)

    hits it out of the park...
    Kind of like a habit at this point! :)

    why? just kos..... *just cause*

    by melo on Fri May 09, 2014 at 06:03:48 AM PDT

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