feature image via New York Magazine
We all got the greatest queer Valentine’s Day gift last year when #1 critter Ellen Page came out and although today isn’t a particularly special holiday, Page has given us another amazing gift by showing up at the Iowa State Fair incognito and making Ted Cruz look like a complete fool (again) on LGBT rights. Page was in Iowa shooting her travel series for Broadly.
Cruz was making an embarrassingly cliche campaign stop to serve grilled meat to Iowans when Page stepped up in a hat and sunglasses and began to ask him questions about his positions on LGBT rights. She opens by asking bluntly about the persecution of gay and trans people, and Cruz retreats to his well-rehearsed bullshit about the “Bible-believing Christians being persecuted for living according to their faith.” When Page counters, he tries to dodge by refusing a “back-and-forth” before launching into a long-winded story about a privately-owned church and a comparison of florists to rabbis to explain why he thinks the religion claimed by the vast majority of US legislators is somehow extraordinarily oppressed by gay people getting married.
The exchange reaches its crescendo of Republican misdirection and ignorance when Page points out the historical oppression of the LGBT community, asking:
“I just think there needs to be more tolerance for LGBT people, who have been constantly persecuted in this country. It used to be illegal. They were thrown in jail, and we’ve come a really really long way. Gay people used to be thrown in jail in this country.”
“Do you know where gay people are being persecuted right now? ISIS. ISIS is executing gay people. Iran. Iran is executing gay people.”
Afterwards, the ABC news reporter quipped about “having a pork chop in one hand and having a conversation about gay discrimination in the workplace” which Cruz claims was actually a conversation about “the persecution of religious liberty.” Of course, Cruz’s delusions about religious persecution are well-known, as he once claimed that the legalization of gay marriage was the “height of tyranny.”
It seems that smart gay women confronting the ass-backwards GOP nominees on their bigotry has become a thing. Last month, we got to watch Rachel Maddow expose Rick Santorum’s disturbing lack of basic civics knowledge. Can we make this a thing for the remainder of the campaign? I’d pay good money to watch Samira Wiley mop up the floor with Donald Trump.