Oh, Rep. Steve King (R-Iowa). With Michele Bachmann retiring, we're going to have to count on you for incoherent defenses of antiquarian antipathies. Like, how would you explain your disappointment in Arizona for not passing that "Gays Not Served Here" law?
Fortunately, King did just that Sunday on Iowa's WHO-TV, and he used mostly small words, except when he wanted to sound legally impressive, at which point he used large-ish words, enunciating them slowly as if they were small words jammed up together like kids thinking sinful thoughts at the fall harvest ball.
Right Wing Watch has the video of King's antigay ramble. Walk with me, will you?
When you're in the private sector and you're an individual entrepreneur with God-given rights that our founding fathers defined in the Declaration, you should be able to make your own decisions on what you do in that private business. And I'm always uneasy about the idea of the philosophy that you're a private-slash-public business, because you have a door that's open that anybody can walk in. That doesn't mean that you have to perform any kind of service that they demand.
Gotcha! Open doors are the worst. So. Can I stop serving blacks at my lunch counter already, or what?
Oh, wait, it's about at this point that King realizes we do require service providers to, you know, provide services to customers without discrimination:
Although we have—it's clear that in the civil rights part of the code that you can't discriminate against anybody based upon—not sure I've got the list right, but—race, creed, religion, color of skin, those kind of things.
Right! So, I should start working on my "Best Wishes Adam and Steve" icing skills, and stocking up on little cake grooms?
Not so fast, King says: gayness is different. It's queer, even:
And there's nothing mentioned in [civil rights laws] about self-professed behavior, and that's what they're trying to protect is special rights for self-professed behavior and I think it's difficult for us to define a law that would protect behavior.
Even to a cornpone Des Moines TV announcer, that sounded like a load of horse hockey. I mean, it makes sense from Steve King's point of view: He presumably likes having sex in vaginas, and any man who doesn't love having sex in vaginas as much as Steve King loves having sex in vaginas is not going to succeed in convincing Steve King that a man can be pre-programmed to not love sex in vaginas. This is a conundrum that the announcer tries to resolve by asking King: Do you really think homosexuality is mere self-profession, choice?
I don't know whether that's a choice or not. I think that that exists across the continuum, in some type of a… curve, and I don't know what that curve actually looks like. I think some's nature and some's nurture, and some might be purely each.
On a 10-point scale of scientific soundness, with a 10 being Neil DeGrasse Tyson and 1 being a not-quite-dead snake-handling holy roller, I give him a 2 here.
But I think a lot of it is a combination of nature and nurture and, but, the one thing that I reference when I say 'self-professed,' is how do you know who to discriminate against? They about have to tell you. And are they then setting up a case? Is this about bringing a grievance or is it actually about a service that they'd like to have - and doesn't free enterprise provide that service if the demand is there? Someone can open up a cake shop, can't they?
Goddamned wily anti-market gays may be setting you up for a trap by telling you they're gay when you serve them. It's like, you know, when a white kid from Jersey goes around to a bunch of ACORN offices asking them about doing crimes and shit. Don't take the bait! Except that as a Christian who eschews sinful homosexuality, it's your God-given right to take that bait!
Also, gays get no rights because regardless of what Steve King said before, Steve King would like to now imply that no one can prove they're gay, or at least unchangeably gay:
If it's not specifically protected in the Constitution, then it's got to be an immutable characteristic, that being a characteristic that can be independently verified and can't be willfully changed...
But I have a question, Steve: You haven't yet compared gays to gay-bashers, lynchers, skinheads, and other bigots. When could you get around to that?
...and when we get into the area of even hate crimes legislation, I've opposed that, because you're punishing people for what you think went on in their head at the time they perpetuated their crime. And it's a murky area of the law. We've not gone that way until the modern era, and I think it's very messy.
Ahhhhhhhhh, there it is. Embrace the mess, Steven.