It continues to be a bad week for bigots on CNN. Another defender of this anti-gay "religious freedom" legislation can't answer a very simple question about whether the law would allow discrimination in the wake of his spineless governor punting on whether he'd veto the bill.
CNN's Jake Tapper grilled a lawmaker who sponsored Arkansas' "Religious Freedom Restoration Act" (RFRA), demonstrating the hypocrisy of conservatives who deny that "religious freedom" laws are intended to protect anti-gay discrimination.
Conservative media outlets have been scrambling to defend "religious freedom" laws in places like Indiana and Arkansas, which provide a legal defense for businesses and individuals who cite their religious beliefs in order to refuse service to LGBT customers. Proponents of these two states' RFRAs have repeatedly denied that the "religious freedom" laws would allow for anti-LGBT discrimination, despite evidence to the contrary.
During the April 1 edition of The Lead with Jake Tapper, Tapper interviewed Arkansas state Senator Bart Hester (R), a sponsor of the state's proposed RFRA. Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson declined to sign the measure into law today, suggesting that it be reworked to more closely mirror federal law. Tapper began the interview by asking whether RFRA would allow Christian business owners to discriminate against same-sex couples if they felt serving them would violate their religious beliefs. Hester responded that RFRA doesn't allow discrimination but would allow Christian businesses to refuse gay customers.
The result was an awkward four minute exchange during which Tapper repeatedly tried to get Hester to acknowledge that refusing service to a gay couple is, in fact, discrimination: [...]
The segment is a stunning example of conservative double-talk in defense of state "religious freedom" laws. The RFRAs in Indiana and Arkansas were crafted for the purpose of denying service to gay customers, even though proponents of RFRA have widely denied that the laws allow for anti-gay discrimination. Read on...