Iowa Rep. Steve King Defends Arizona’s Anti-Gay Bill

by Jason St. Amand

National News Editor

Tuesday March 4, 2014

Although Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer vetoed the controversial SB 1062 last week -- the bill that would allow business owners to refuse service to LGBT customers in the name of religion -- some Republican lawmakers and conservatives from around the country are still seething that the measure has been nixed.

Right Wing Watch reports that Iowa Republican Rep. Steve King said Sunday that the bill would have improved Arizona's businesses and that homosexuality is "self-professed behavior" and that it can't be "independently verified."

"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," King said on Des Moines TV station WHO.

"Although it's clear in the civil rights section of the code that you can't discriminate against people based upon -- and I'm not sure I have the list right -- race, creed, religion, color of skin," King continued. "There's nothing mentioned in there on self-professed behavior, and that's what they're trying to protect is special rights for self-professed behavior."

When the congressman was asked if being gay is a choice or if someone is born that way he said he doesn't "know whether it's a choice or not," but that gay people exist on "some type of continuum or curve" but doesn't "know what that curve actually looks like."

"I think some's nature and some's nurture, and some might be purely each. But I think a lot of it is a combination of nature and nurture," King said.

He also implied that LGBT people are coming out in order to trick business owners into discriminating against them.

"The one thing that I reference when I say 'self-professed,'" he said, "is how do you know who to discriminate against? They 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?"

He then said homosexuality cannot be "independently verified" and that it can be "willfully changed."

"If it's not specifically protected in the Constitution," he said about civil rights protections, before adding, "then it's got to be an immutable characteristic, that being a characteristic that can be independently verified and cannot be willfully changed."

He said this is the reason why he does not support hate crime laws.

It should be noted that both the American Psychiatric Association and the American Psychological Association stopped classifying homosexuality as a mental disorder in the 70s.

King isn't the only conservative to express his outrage that Arizona's SB 1062 was vetoed last week.

In the wake of Brewer's decision Fox News pundit George Will said Sunday the LGBT community is full of "sore winners."

"It's a funny kind of sore winner in the gay rights movement that would say, 'A photographer doesn't want to photograph my wedding -- I've got lots of other photographers I could go to, but I'm going to use the hammer of government to force them to do this.'... It's not neighborly and it's not nice," Will said. "The gay rights movement is winning. They should be, as I say, not sore winners."

Watch Right Wing Watch's clip of King below:

Comments on Facebook