Toomey Cornered on Gay Discrimination Laws

Salon plays "gotcha" with the senator at conservative gathering.

In the wake of aborted attempts in Kansas and Arizona to pass “religious freedom” laws that would permit businesses to discriminate against gay customers, liberal online magazine Salon has been cornering prominent conservatives to get their views on the matter. Thursday, the magazine got to Pennsylvania’s U.S. Senator, Pat Toomey.

Asked Thursday morning whether it should be legal for a hotel to turn away a couple because they’re gay, Pennsylvania Sen. Pat Toomey told Salon, “I haven’t given that any thought.” Salon’s question was one of several asked by reporters as Toomey walked to his car following an address to the Conservative Political Action Conference. As Salon and other outlets attempted to ask follow-up questions, Toomey told the crowd, “Have a nice day. Take care.”

But even Salon concedes it’s tough to nail Tommey down as an anti-gay bigot: “Asked over email to elaborate on whether the senator believes a hotel or restaurant should be allowed to turn away customers because they’re gay, a Toomey spokesperson responded only that the senator “has supported efforts to address discrimination based on sexual orientation,” including ENDA and the repeal of “don’t ask, don’t tell.””