During a recent weekday episode of The Ellen Degeneres Show, the lesbian host used her opening monologue to criticize Mississippi's new Religious Freedom Law as “something wrong” she felt the need to talk about because she claims it allows people to discriminate against members of the LGBTQ (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Queer) community.
Degeneres stated that the law “might sound good because the word 'freedom' is in it,” but it really means that for religious reasons, “you can deny gay people marriage, adoption and foster care services, fire or refuse to employ them and decline to rent or sell them property,” which she called “the definition of discrimination.”
The comic began her talk by stating: “I thought a lot about what I wanted to say today, and there's something I want to get off my chest. It's a mole that looks like it's changed shape, so I'm going to see my doctor about that.”
“What I really want to talk about today,” the host of the syndicated program continued, "is what happened in Mississippi.”
I don't know what “Mrs.-ssippi” is doing, but I'm very worried about ”Mister-ssippi.”
Now, I'm not a political person. I'm really not, but this is not politics, this is human rights. And when I see something wrong, I have to talk about it. It's the same thing I do when I see men wearing spandex in line at a Starbucks: It's wrong, and I need to discuss it.
“So this issue is very personal to me, obviously,” she continued. “I'm disappointed for several reasons. First of all, Mississippi is the only state I know how to spell.”
After declaring the new law “the definition of discrimination,” Degeneres said: “It's also something that the Supreme Court already ruled on when they made marriage a right for everyone. Everyone. And they're supreme. I mean, that's the best you can get, like the Nacho Supremes at Taco Bell.”
The court, she continued, “said the same thing that Diana Ross and the Supremes said a long time ago: 'Stop in the Name of Love.' And now, Mississippi is saying: 'I Don't Second That Emotion.'”
“Sometimes I think it's easier to explain things if you break it down,” the comic stated, “so imagine this: Two cupcakes walk into a flower shop, and they want to buy a dozen roses, but the florist doesn't believe in selling flowers to cupcakes because they don't have any money.”
“But gay people do, so sell them the damn flowers,” she declared.
Degeneres then put the issue in context by discussing her experience from childhood to adulthood. “I grew up in the South right next door, in Louisiana. I used to go to Mississippi as a kid all the time. My Aunt Helen lived there.”
So “if you're in Mississippi or North Carolina or anywhere, and you're saddened by the fact that people are judging you based on who you love, don't lose hope,” she said. “I was fired for being gay, and I know what it feels like. I lost everything, but look at me now," she said to applause from the studio audience.
“I could buy that governor's mansion, flip it and make a $7 million profit,” the lesbian comic joked.
Degeneres then noted:
There's already so much inequality in the world: women's rights, gender pay gap, racism. I think we need to remember that we are more similar than we are different.
And we all want the same things: love, acceptance, kindness; and I want one of those new Teslas (cars that are powered by electricity).
“So I advocate for less hate and more love, less tearing apart and more coming together, less sitting and more dancing,” she concluded.
As NewsBusters previously reported, Degeneres isn't the only well-known person to criticize the new legislation.
It didn't take long for the three “mainstream” news programs to bash the law as “a thinly veiled license to discriminate against gays and lesbians.”
Don Lemon, a gay Cable News Network anchor who serves as host of the CNN Tonight news and interview program, quickly attacked the “so-called religious freedom bill” as part of “the latest in a wave of discrimination laws in the south since the Supreme Court legalized same-sex marriage.”
And on Sunday and Monday, all three network shows hailed rocker Bruce Springsteen’s decision to cancel a concert in North Carolina as further evidence of the “firestorm” and “growing backlash” against religious freedom laws recently passed there and in other states.
The tumult over the religious freedom legislation in Mississippi and elsewhere is certain to continue as long as "non-political people" like Ellen Degeneres and those in the news media continue to promote it and ignore its goal of protecting those who believe in traditional marriage.