CNN's Cuomo Blasts Bill Donohue: 'Why Do You Want to Discriminate Against Gays?'
On Thursday's New Day, CNN's Chris Cuomo hammered the Catholic League's Bill Donohue for his opposition to same-sex marriage and his support of the now-vetoed SB 1062 in Arizona. Cuomo mouthed the talking points of the social left on LGBT issues: "Why do you want to discriminate against gays? You say, we don't...only the marriages bother us. But that's the same thing, because their right as an individual is to marry."
The anchor even questioned Donohue's Catholicism, for supposedly standing with "these Christians who are more of the extreme...[who] have their own rigid beliefs," and against Pope Francis (or, more specifically, the liberal media's spin about him): [MP3 audio available here; video below the jump]
CHRIS CUOMO: You have a leader in your church, the Pope, and his message that is drawing so much acclaim; that is bringing so many people back to your church; is so different from the one you're offering up. And I know you have your op-ed coming up that says that when the Pope said, who's it for me to judge gays, he was making an assumption that there are gays who are seeking God – by the way, you can be gay and be seeking God – and he's saying love; he's saying forgive; he's saying include. And that is not what that law was about, and that's not what you're saying.
Cuomo's interview of the Catholic League president came three days after he blasted Kellie Fiedorek of the Alliance Defending Freedom for her organization's support of the proposed Arizona law, which would have protected the religious liberty of business owners: "You don't need even need this law unless what you want to do is enforce intolerance...That's what it seems like you are doing to me, and it seems pretty obvious." The anchor wasted little time before again making his bias clear at the top of the segment:
CUOMO: Opponents of Arizona's so-called religious freedom bill have reason to celebrate. The governor there, Jan Brewer, vetoed the measure that would have protected businesses that deny service to gays and lesbians and others on religious grounds. On the same day, a federal judge ruled that Texas' same-sex marriage ban is unconstitutional. So, do these and other victories for the rights of the LGBT community put those against them on the wrong side of history?
After asking Donohue why he supported the legislation, the CNN personality repeated many of the points he made during the Fiedorek interview:
CUOMO: ...Are you aware that in Arizona, the LGBT community is not a protected class? Are you aware of that?
DONOHUE: No, as a matter of fact, I don't even believe it. Quite frankly, we've had this RFRA law – Religious Freedom Restoration Act – since 1997 at the federal level. Where are the examples of gays being discriminated against? If they're so discriminated against, how come they make more money than straight people on average?...Is somebody being denied in Applebee's getting a hamburger? Where are these examples of gay people being persecuted?
CUOMO: You need to reverse it, because this is about you asking for a law that allows business owners to not serve people who are gay because it's an infringement of their religious rights. And what I'm saying to you is, under the law in Arizona, there is no special protection of the LGBT community. So a business member, if he wanted to or she wanted to, could discriminate without violation. That's why the law was unnecessary. Do you get that?
Cuomo reacted strongly when Donohue predicted that LGBT activists would eventually try to force churches to marry same-sex couples:
CUOMO: ...Can you point out a business that was made substantial burden religiously because of what they had to do vis-a-vis a gay person?
DONOHUE: I think what this came about, if I'm not mistaken, is because of what happened in New Mexico when they did have had this RFRA amended law....and the person is a photographer and says I don't want to do a wedding ceremony. If that person says, listen, the gay people come into my shop and you're a gay person, I don't want to take your picture. I have no sympathy for these people of faith – all right? When it gets into the question of marriage ceremonies – whether it's in the secular vein, like I gave an example, or where we're going – into the churches, that's -
CUOMO: Yes, but we're not going there-
DONOHUE: Oh, I think there are some people-
CUOMO: Nobody's saying that a religious organization has to perform gay marriages – nobody, nobody.
DONOHUE: If we have a federal administration, which ignores the expressed will of the people in DOMA, and when you have the people taking an initiative in California saying, we don't want gay marriage – and then, you get somebody – a judge just overturns it, we're being besieged. The gay rights thing-
CUOMO: That's a scare tactic....
The CNN anchor, who supposedly comes from a Catholic background, couldn't comprehend why any Christian would object to photographing or catering a same-sex wedding:
CUOMO: How is it a substantial burden to your faith to take photos of a gay wedding if you're a Catholic?
DONOHUE: Well, I think if people say, listen, I don't want to sanction polygamy or gay marriage or anything other than traditional marriage, I think we need to respect that. And if you don't like it, you can shop around. I mean, it's not hard for gays to find somebody who's going to take a picture of them – is there? In Arizona even?
CUOMO: How is it a substantial burden to your Catholic faith to do that? Where in your faith does it say that doing that is very wrong?
DONOHUE: You know where this is coming from? It's coming from the fact – as I've said, between the courts, a lot of these unelected judges and what's going on in this administration and Washington and also some state legislatures – we feel – people of faith – that our rights are being whittled away in the name of gay rights having to trump on us. We need to have an honest discussion. I'd like to see a-
CUOMO: How does gay marriage compromise your rights?
DONOHUE: Gay marriage – the problem with gay marriage is this: it makes a smorgasbord. It basically says that there's no profound difference, socially speaking, between marriage between a man and woman – the only union which can create a family – and, other examples-
CUOMO: Who says that's the purpose of marriage? What if you want lifelong companionship and commitment?
DONOHUE: If a man and woman don't have sex, we can't reproduce, can we? We can't propagate-
CUOMO: You don't have to be married to propagate....and you don't have to want to have kids to be married.
Donohue continued by asserting that "the evidence is overwhelming. You need a father and a mother." Cuomo's reply: "You need love, and you need people to care for you – gay or straight." Moments later, the Catholic League president repeated his point, but the anchor wasn't having any of it:
DONOHUE: I do have proof that kids who come from one-parent families don't do as well as well as kids from two-parent families-
CUOMO: So, does that matter – gay or straight? Does gay or straight matter?...So, you should want gay marriage. You should want gay marriage because single parent families are a problem-
DONOHUE: Why should we want – why would we want a social experiment with an institution which has served us well for over 2,000 years? Why do we experiment with this?
CUOMO: Because you have single-parent families, and they deserve the right to do whatever a straight person does. You said respect for those individuals....How do you respect them as an individual if you don't give them the right that an individual has?
DONOHUE: What I'm saying is that the gold – the gold standard is a father and a mother creating a family. That's what was ordained by nature and nature's God. Yet-
CUOMO: Marriage was not ordained by nature. Most mammals don't couple....I think beavers and elephants or something do-
DONOHUE: Have you noticed anatomically there's a goodness of fit between a man and a woman?
CUOMO: Nobody's arguing that this is how you procreate -
DONOHUE: Well, well, that's – that's the point-
CUOMO: But marriage is about love and commitment-
DONOHUE: No, it isn't-
CUOMO: And the right to it is about equality, and you know that.
Cuomo ended the segment with his "why do you want discriminate" remark, and with his questioning of his guest's Catholic faith. On Twitter, the CNN anchor wrote, "All marriage is man made. Religions have their own concept and that's ok." That ought to clue you into the extent of the journalist's own faith, as the Church actually teaches that marriage is a sacrament created by God.
— Matthew Balan is a News Analyst at the Media Research Center. Follow Matthew Balan on Twitter.