Justice

Ellen Page Just Got Into a Heated Debate With Ted Cruz

Actress and LGBT activist Ellen Page confronted Republican presidential candidate Ted Cruz about issues facing the gay community at the Iowa State Fair on Friday. 

Page, who came out as a lesbian last year, reportedly attended the event as part of her upcoming Vice show, "Gaycation With Ellen Page." Footage from their exchange will be included in the series. While the Texas senator was grilling pork chops, Page asked what he thought about "LGBT people being fired for just strictly being gay or trans." 

Cruz, who has spoken out against gay marriage many times, responded with, "What we’re seeing right now ... we’re seeing Bible-believing Christians being persecuted for living according to their faith."

The actress said that these Christians are facing consequences for discriminating against the LGBT community to which Cruz replied that he wasn't looking to have a back-and-forth debate with her.

 

The presidential contender reiterated that people have every right to their religious beliefs, regardless of what that might mean for others.

“No one has the right to force someone else to abandon their faith and their conscience," Cruz said. "Imagine, hypothetically, you had a gay florist and imagine that two evangelical Christians wanted to get married and the gay florist decided, ‘You know what, I disagree with your faith, and I don’t want to provide flowers.' There are lots of other people you can buy flowers from.”

Cruz also told Page that liberals are guilty of failing to call out Iran for their discrimination against gay people. The celebrity said this was not true and reminded Cruz that some Christians have also been violent towards gay people.

"Christians in Russia, Christians in Uganda, Christians in Jamaica, all persecuting gays to a really, really violent extent," Page said.

“Does that trouble you at all that you draw a moral equivalence between Christians in Jamaica and radical Islamic terrorists in ISIS that are beheading children?" Cruz said. "Ma'am, they’re not morally equivalent ... murder is murder is murder, and it is wrong, it’s wrong across the board." 

According to the Dallas News, Cruz had no clue that he'd just debated a Hollywood actress.

“No idea who it was,” he said. “I’m always happy to discuss religious liberty."

JoDee Winterhof, the senior vice president of policy and political affairs for the Human Rights Campaign (HRC), an LGBT advocacy organization, released the following statement regarding Cruz's conduct at the fair: "Ted Cruz showed today that he is living in another era where he thinks it’s acceptable to treat LGBT people differently and allow businesses to refuse service to someone just because of who they are, or who they love."

As noted by BuzzFeed, Page has criticized Cruz before:

Here's how others reacted to Cruz and Page's shared words today:

A year and a half ago, Page came out at an HRC event in Las Vegas:

"I’m here today because I am gay," she said. "And because maybe I can make a difference. To help others have an easier and more hopeful time. Regardless, for me, I feel a personal obligation and a social responsibility."