Iowa Rep. Steve King on Wednesday advised gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender employees to remain in the closet at work.

King, an ardent opponent of gay rights, told that gay workers don't need workplace protections because they could simply not disclose their sexual orientation.

When Scott Keyes asked, “Would that encompass, for instance, the government being able to tell businesses who they can hire and fire?” King responded, “Yeah, they shouldn't be able to do that [to] a private business.”

“Even if those were to be regulations say on a matter of sexual orientation or gender or other stuff like that?” Keyes added.

“How do you know someone's sexual orientation? I don't know how you discriminate against someone because of their sexual orientation. That's their business.”

“I guess if it became public knowledge that an employee were lesbian or gay,” Keyes expanded.

“You have private sector businesses here and they need to have freedom to operate,” King answered. “In the first place, I would think that unless someone makes their sexuality public, it's not anybody's business, so neither it is our business to tell an employer who to hire. He won't know who to discriminate against in the first place.” (The video is embedded in the right panel of this page. Visit our video library for more videos.)

(Related: NOM tapped Rep. Steve King to spearhead Iowa gay marriage repeal effort.)