Caldara on KOA: "[S]mokers get less respect than gays"

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Discussing the U.S. House of Representatives' recent passage of the Employment Non-Discrimination Act of 2007, Newsradio 850 KOA host and Independence Institute president Jon Caldara on his November 8 broadcast said, "It's amazing to me that smokers get less respect than gays." He added, "We will protect the lifestyles of people who have lifestyles we might find abhorrent -- some of us -- and yet when it comes to smokers, we'll say, 'Mmm, sorry, we can't have that.' "

H.R. 3685, which seeks to "provide a comprehensive Federal prohibition of employment discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation," passed the House on November 7.

Caldara was discussing a decision by a Florida company to institute a smoking ban and fire employees who smoke. As Orlando television station WKMG Local 6 reported on November 7, "Westgate Resorts, the largest private employer in Central Florida, has banned smoking and won't budge from a policy of not hiring smokers and firing employees who do smoke."

From the November 8 broadcast of Newsradio 850 KOA's The Jon Caldara Show:

CALDARA: This is not an easy issue. Now, I know for the nannyists out there, this is simple; he's doing the right thing. And by the way, I want to contrast this with what the federal government did just the other day. Let me give you the preamble: I find it amazing, amazing that we have such incredible tolerance for different lifestyles -- and that's a good thing; I love that! I'll take, for instance, our acceptance of the homosexual lifestyle now -- the acceptance that people can choose this lifestyle, or perhaps they're born into this lifestyle -- there's an argument there; I don't care to get into it. But we respect that lifestyle choice; we expect other people to respect it. So much so that yesterday, the House of Representatives approved the first federal ban on job discrimination against gays, lesbians, and bisexuals. It's called the Employment Non-Discrimination Act. The Employment Non-Discrimination Act. Terrific! Interesting. It's amazing to me that smokers get less respect than gays. We will protect the lifestyles of people who have lifestyles we might find abhorrent -- some of us -- and yet when it comes to smokers, we'll say, "Mmm, sorry, we can't have that."

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