Speaking about Arizona‘s wide-sweeping anti-gay bill, SB 1062, CNN anchor Chris Cuomo this morning was forced to explain to a representative of the Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF, and formerly the Alliance Defense Fund) 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.
ADF attorney Kellie 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.”
I mean, think about, for example, we would not force a Muslim to participate in a Koran-burning ceremony. We wouldn’t ask a black photographer and force them to go take a picture of KKK event. This is America and America we should be able to live freely and not be forced to endorse ideas.
Cuomo couldn’t hold back any longer. “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?”
Fiedorek added that “bill simply protects those freedoms and allows people to live according to their faith without the government coming in and saying what you can and cannot believe.”
Sure. So, if you believe that Black people, women, Muslims, gay people, or yes, Catholics or Christians are, hmm, shall we quote Ted Nugent and say, “sub-human mongrels,” just as an example, the bill — if Gov. Jan Brewer signs it — says not only are you allowed to believe that, but you’re legally allowed to act on those beliefs by refusing to work with, serve, or do business with anyone who is Black, a woman, a Muslim, gay, Catholic, or Christian.
That’s just merely “protecting freedom!”
Cuomo wasn’t letting Fiedorek’s claims stand.
“It allows people to not do business with gays is what it allows,” he told her. “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?”
And Fiedorek also claimed this:
“Under this bill that no one would be able to deny anyone services. They couldn’t say no to a cup of coffee.”
She also claimed these following gems — which, having read the bill, I find to be false:
“This law is about protecting religious freedom and protecting the dignity of every single person.”
“It will not deny anyone any service. 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.”
Fiedorek, for the record, is not just a hired mouthpiece, but a bad one at that.
In 2011, speaking as a staff attorney for the anti-abortion organization Americans United for Life (AUL), said, “I think it’s [curtailing abortion rights] completely in line with the desire to focus on jobs, because we are in a financial crisis, so this ensures that federal taxpayer funds are going to things that are important to the American people and not to something like abortion.”
Cue the right wing media’s cries of “doesn’t get how religious freedom works“…
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