Saying that someone shouldn't be fired based on their sexuality isn't by any means radical nowadays. In Michigan, 29 municipalities have passed non-discrimination laws in the last few weeks. Yet, Gov. Rick Snyder won't say for sure whether he thinks firing someone for being gay is wrong. He's been dodging questions about this lately, and on Thursday he and several reporters had this run-around:
Reporter: Is it acceptable in Michigan that someone can be fired from their job because they are gay or perceived as gay?
Snyder: Well again, in terms of people being fired for no good reason, again, that's always an issue, that shouldn't happen.
Reporter: Is being fired because you're gay or perceived as gay one of those issues?
Snyder: Again, you have issues where you want to see people have an opportunity to have a career.
Reporter: But when you say "no good reason," is being gay a good reason to be fired?
Snyder: Well again, that's a broad statement, so it'd depend on the particular facts of the situation. That's a hypothetical, that's very general in that context.
Reporter: People are being fired because they're gay though, that's not hypothetical. An employer can do that. That's not a hypothetical situation, that's a real situation...
Snyder: The question is how should government be involved in that process and how active, so again that's where I'm happy to work with the legislature as they're willing to look at those kind of issues.
All that commotion and fuss, to say nothing at all kinda seems like he actually has a position on this but is too afraid of what people would say.
The main voice opposing these non-discrimination laws is the Midland-based American Family Association of Michigan, which says that the "policies discriminate against people who don't support homosexuality," MLive reports. The American Family Association, despite having a nice-sounding name, is a anti-gay group whose spokespeople have said things like that Matthew Shepard's murder was a complete fraud, that gay activists are Nazi stormtroopers, and that the Boy Scouts are now the "Boy Sodomizers of America" because they voted to lift the ban on gay scouts.
Why would Snyder want to align himself with those guys? Well, Snyder has his eye on 2016 — "Hopefully, I'm a reasonable model for people to look at across the country," he said in September — and is in the same boat as New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie. Both of them, along with any Republican running in 2016, have to walk a tightrope where being more anti-gay than your opponent is generally seen as the strategy heading into the primary where conservative voters dictate the nominee. In the general election, being more pro-gay is the key.
"At this point in time I've got a number of other things that I've had as priorities," Snyder said. One of those priorities might just be 2016.