Just before he challenged Indiana Governor Mike Pence (R) to come on the show and defend his bill, New Day host Chris Cuomo battled it out with Peter Sprigg of the right-wing Media Research Council over Indiana’s new “religious liberty” bill, which both supporters and detractors say would allow businesses to claim a religious exemption to deny service to gays and lesbians.
“There is a picture that’s circulating around of the governor as he signed [the bill],” Cuomo said. “Several of the people in the picture are outspoken critics of gay existence. Now, that’s not a coincidence. It’s not a coincidence why you’re against it. Let me ask you, why do so many Christians these days believe that the exercise of their faith requires exclusion and judgment of others?”
“Some people have a sincere, conscientious belief that marriage is defined as the union between a man and a woman,” Sprigg replied. “In fact the majority of Americans believe that.”
“Popularity is not the ultimate arbiter of what is right and wrong if protecting rights under the Constitution,” Cuomo said. “The question then goes to: why do you need this? What is it about someone being gay or someone wanting to marry someone of the same sex — what is there in that that is keeping you from being the Christian you want to be?…If I said, Mr. Sprigg, you must go marry a man right now, you can say, no, that’s a violation of my faith. Maybe that, you would be able clear this burden. But how is wanting to judge others somehow stopping you from practicing your faith?”
CNN anchor Chris Cuomo this morning interviewed attorney Kellie Fiedorek a representative of the Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF, and formerly the Alliance Defense Fund) about Arizona‘s wide-sweeping anti-gay bill, SB 1062, that would allow “Christians” to legally discriminate against LGBT individuals.
When questioned about the Jim Crow-esque bill Fiedorek told Cuomo there’s “a basic difference between denying someone a cup of coffee or a piece of pizza or selling someone a pencil versus forcing someone to use their creative ability to create a message to support an event, to support an idea that goes against their beliefs.”that a same-sex wedding is not the same as a KKK rally, and asking a photographer to take photos of one is not the same as asking a photographer to take photos of the other.
Cuomo wasn’t having any of it responding: “Counselor, tell me that you’re not analogizing burning a Koran or the KKK with gay marriage? Do you really see those things as the same thing?”
“It will not deny anyone any service. replied Fiedorek. No one will be kicked out of a restaurant or denied a cup of coffee or piece of pizza.”
“What this bill is advocating for is basic freedom, ensuring that everyone is respected and that the government is not allowed to force or to coerce or compel anyone to violate their beliefs or to go against their conscience. This is basically to keep the government from discriminating against people of faith.”
Cuomo aggressively countered: “It allows people to not do business with gays is what it allows. Your organization has a history of trying to hedge the ability to deal with gay marriage and gay rights in the country. All somebody has to do is Google your organization. So let’s just be open and honest about it. Why is dealing with gays or gay marriage out to a substantial burden of someone’s religion? Whose religion does that burden?”