Republican presidential candidate Ted Cruz and Ellen Page, actress best known for her role in Juno, had a five-minute debate over gay rights at the Iowa State Fair, an important canvassing event for candidates.
Ellen, who was wearing sunglasses and gave no indication of who she was, went up to Ted, who was grilling pork chops. Cruz said later that he did not recognize Page. She began by asking Ted Cruz about the fact that religious liberty had frequently been used to justify other forms of discrimination.
Ted responded by pointing out religious leaders who had helped defeat slavery. Cruz observed that “Reverend Martin Luther King stood up against — you know, you read the letter from the Birmingham jail, where he calls upon the conscience of Christians to stand up.”
From there, the Ted Cruz and Ellen Page debate went onto the topic of Christian businesses being forced to provide services for LGBT couples. Ted brought up the example of the Gortz Haus lawsuit, where the owners of a church turned art gallery decided to stop providing weddings due to the court demanding that they could not discriminate against LGBT marriages.
“Imagine, hypothetically, that you had a gay florist and 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,” Cruz asked.
Ellen Page responded that the florist should have to provide the flowers.
The conversation finished off with a discussion over violence towards homosexuals. Cruz said that even though Iran and the Islamic State regularly execute homosexuals, the left and the Obama administration say nothing about it.
Page responded by talking about violence towards gays by Christians in Jamaica. Cruz instantly pounced on that, observing that while there may not be gay pride parades in Jamaica, the “governmental bodies” do not execute gays like they do in the Islamic State and Iran. The two parted ways shortly afterwards.
After Ellen Page and Ted Cruz finished talking, Cruz continued his line of argument in front of a crowd at the State Fair. He said that he is protecting Christian business owners “who have been sanctioned by their government because of their religious beliefs.” He also attracted controversy for speaking poorly about the Jimmy Carter administration so soon after Carter’s announcement that his cancer had spread.
Page, who came out as gay last year, attended the State Fair as part of her upcoming show Gaycation, where she looks at LGBT issues in different areas.
[Photo By: Scott Olson/Getty Images News]