In a talk in Salt Lake City this weekend, Ryan T. Anderson of the Heritage Foundation claimed that same-sex marriage is “an elite luxury good bought for on the backs of the poor.”
He made the comment while discussing U.S. v. Windsor, in which Edith Windsor argued successfully that she was unjustly forced to pay hundreds of thousands of dollars in taxes after her wife’s death because DOMA prevented the government from recognizing their marriage. Anderson absurdly claimed that the media suppressed the facts of the case, and insisted that the solution to Windsor’s problem was simply to repeal the estate tax.
He continued in the same vein, claiming that free markets, rather than nondiscrimination measures, will protect LGBT people from employment and housing discrimination.
Anderson warned that measures protecting LGBT people from housing and employment discrimination will oppress conservatives: “Too often, the nondiscrimination laws are just used as a way of discriminating against those who hold traditional views about marriage.”
“I think, to a certain extent, if you want to protect housing and employment for any person, encourage free markets,” he continued. “Employers want the best employees, regardless of their sexual attractions. A landlord wants the best tenants, regardless of their sexual attractions. It wouldn’t be, in the long run, for a business, profitable to be discriminating against good employees for no reason whatsoever.”
In fact, 21 percent of LGBT people report having been discriminated against in the workplace, including 47 percent of transgender people. Ample research also shows that the free market has done nothing to prevent LGBT people from facing discrimination in renting and buying homes.
But Anderson wasn’t just concerned with public policy. Later in the talk, an audience member asked about pro-gay “subliminal messaging” in pop culture. “The television show Glee has done just as much to corrupt a young generation about marriage as anything the Supreme Court has done,” he responded.