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Penn Jillette to CNN guest defending ‘religious freedom’ laws: No one is being asked to have gay sex

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On CNN Tonight, a discussion over Indiana’s Religious Freedom Restoration Act grew contentious when libertarian entertainer Penn Jillette told a defender of the controversial law that Christians weren’t being asked to have gay sex with their customers, just sell them “some flowers and cake.”

Host Don Lemon challenged guest Kristen Waggoner, attorney for the Alliance for Freedom, to defend the law after asking why it hasn’t been fixed as a result of the national backlash.

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“Well I don’t think that the law needs to be fixed,” Waggoner said.” What we have seen is that federal religious freedom laws have been in place for twenty years, and thirty-one states have a very similar standard. So these absurd hypotheticals and claims that the media have been portraying have been conjecture. But what we do know is that the religious freedom laws benefit all Americans. That they benefit all faiths in all different contexts. So the suggestion that this about one particular political debate is not reality.”

When pressed by Lemon why the law didn’t contain language protecting gay and lesbian people, Waggoner began to talk about religious freedom again, before Lemon cut her off, saying, “You’re not answering my question.”

Asked by Lemon for his take on the law passed in Indiana  — with Arkansas and Georgia possibly to follow — Jillette began by saying that he’s not an expert on the subject.

“There is more to gay sex than cake and flowers,” he explained as Waggoner’s eyes narrowed. “These people are not being asked to engage in gay sex, or even endorse gay sex. They’re being asked to sell flowers and cake to people. And that is hypothetical. Now I’m a libertarian and a atheist, so I’m kind of fighting myself on this. I don’t like the government involved and telling people what to do. I certainly want people to have religious freedom, because the only way people who don’t have religion can have freedom is if people who do have religion have freedom.”

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“But all the same, we have to make sure we don’t get too crazy in the hypotheticals,” he continued. “You’re not talking about forcing people to engage in gay sex, or even endorse gay sex. We’re asking them that maybe they can treat people the same as other people, and that does not seem unreasonable. It’s okay, I suppose — although goofy– to be against gays, but it’s not okay to be against people who simply want to use your services.”

Waggoner responded with an odd analogy saying journalists might not like “writing messages that they disagree with,” with Jillette quickly responding “Journalists all the time write things they disagree with,” as Lemon laughed.

Watch the video below , uploaded to YouTube by [email protected]:

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… then let us make a small request. Like you, we here at Raw Story believe in the power of progressive journalism — and we’re investing in investigative reporting as other publications give it the ax. Raw Story readers power David Cay Johnston’s DCReport, which we've expanded to keep watch in Washington. We’ve exposed billionaire tax evasion and uncovered White House efforts to poison our water. We’ve revealed financial scams that prey on veterans, and efforts to harm workers exploited by abusive bosses. We’ve launched a weekly podcast, “We’ve Got Issues,” focused on issues, not tweets. Unlike other news sites, we’ve decided to make our original content free. But we need your support to do what we do.

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