This post is a companion to Dave Begley’s account of Ted Cruz’s rally for religious freedom in Des Moines last night. It is also a companion of sorts to this post from last month where Cruz engaged with Code Pink protesters.
Yesterday, prior to the religious freedom rally, Cruz was at the Iowa State Fair, apparently serving food, when he was ambushed by an actress named Ellen Page. With lots of cameras rolling, Page challenged Cruz on “LGBT trans rights.” Cruz tried to keep the focus on religious freedom. Cruz does well in this kind of give and take. Not perfectly–which is easy to say when kibitzing after the fact–but perhaps better than any politician of either party. First the video, then a few more comments:
I think the most interesting moment in this dialogue is when Page talks about the fact that many states have not enacted legislation making it illegal to fire a person for being gay. (Just as it is not illegal to fire someone for being tall, or short, or having blue eyes). Watching Cruz, you can see the wheels turning as he stalls for a moment to decide how to respond.
Given that homosexuals earn more money, on the average, than heterosexuals in the U.S., there is evidently not a major problem of employment discrimination. And establishing a new protected class entails enormous costs that usually are borne by consumers. But Cruz chose not to go down this path, instead essentially ignoring Page’s question–a fact about which she properly complained–and turning the conversation back to religious freedom, the topic he was in Des Moines to advance. It is an interesting five minutes of video.
Cruz is notable not just for the fact that he engages in this kind of dialogue skillfully, but for the fact that he engages in it at all.