Indiana’s widely-hated “religious freedom” law couldn’t have a better friend than Megyn Kelly. She vigorously defended the law not once but twice on Fox News prime time last night.
A fierce backlash has sprung up against the law that many experts (but not Kelly!) think will lead to discrimination against the LGBTcommunity.
First, on The O’Reilly Factor, Kelly parroted right-wing talking points (as did other Fox hosts) that the law is just like a federal law and those passed by many states. Therefore, Kelly argued, there’s no need to worry about LGBT discrimination.
KELLY: You know, the person who doesn’t want to photograph the gay wedding or provide the flowers to the gay wedding, they’ve all lost (in court). The gays and lesbians win, and the person objecting on religious grounds loses… even in the states that have a law like Indiana’s.
As Kelly continued, she first feigned objectivity by citing “what the people defending the law in Indiana say” but soon clearly became a defender herself.
KELLY: What the people defending the law in Indiana say is, Indiana’s simply doing what 19 other states in the union have done, what the feds have done: a law that was passed at the federal level that Bill Clinton signed, that was passed unanimously in the House and that received, I think it was a 97-3 vote in the U.S. Senate. So when it was established at the federal level, the entire country agreed that was fine, they wanted to provide folks who were trying to object to doing something on a religious basis just an avenue to object, that’s all.
…This law is not that controversial but people who, I think, want to prove their bona fides on gay and lesbian issues are exploiting it. And it’s sort of like Ferguson. You know, you can be against racism and not have to use a case to establish your bona fides as against racism or as pro gay rights and pro lesbian rights.
And who would know better about being against bigotry than Megyn Kelly? The woman who is racially obsessed with with Eric Holder, who has a visceral animosity toward the Ferguson protesters, who gloated over the exoneration of Darren Wilson (while waving off the findings of systemic racism in the Ferguson police department) and who “assured” her viewers that Santa is white?
In the following hour, Kelly undercut her "the law is not anti-gay" contention by hosting extremist Tony Perkins to defend the Indiana law on her own show. Perkins has floated the idea of a Christian “full-blown revolution” if the Supreme Court upholds gay marriage. His Family Research Council has been listed as an anti-LGBT hate group by the Southern Poverty Law Center. Yet Perkins frequently gets a friendly platform on The Kelly File.
Guest Mark Hannah advocated against the law – when he had the chance to speak.
Kelly listened quietly as Perkins attacked “the lunacy of the left” for its outrage. She repeatedly interrupted Hannah as he tried to make his case.
Furthermore, Kelly’s assertion that the law mirrors other laws is at odds with many, including 30 law professors, who are experts in religious freedom, and even her own Fox News colleague Bret Baier. Think Progress explains:
Every other Religious Freedom Restoration Act applies to disputes between a person or entity and a government. Indiana’s is the only law that explicitly applies to disputes between private citizens. …This means it could be used as a cudgel by corporations to justify discrimination against individuals that might otherwise be protected under law. Indiana trial lawyer Matt Anderson, discussing this difference, writes that the Indiana law is “more broadly written than its federal and state predecessors” and opens up “the path of least resistance among its species to have a court adjudicate it in a manner that could ultimately be used to discriminate…”
Media Matters noted that Kelly’s misleading defense of Indiana’s controversial “religious freedom” law is just the latest example of why she’s become homophobia’s best ally at Fox. She’s right up there in the bigotry department, too.
Watch it above, and from last night's The O'Reilly Factor below via Media Matters.
Crossposted at News Hounds.
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