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Cuomo Battles FRC Spox over Indiana Bill: How Is ‘Judging Others’ Expression of Faith?


Just before he challenged Indiana Governor Mike Pence (R) to come on the show and defend his bill, New Day host Chris Cuomo battled it out with Peter Sprigg of the right-wing Family Research Council over Indiana’s new “religious liberty” bill, which both supporters and detractors say would allow businesses to claim a religious exemption to deny service to gays and lesbians.

“There is a picture that’s circulating around of the governor as he signed [the bill],” Cuomo said. “Several of the people in the picture are outspoken critics of gay existence. Now, that’s not a coincidence. It’s not a coincidence why you’re against it. Let me ask you, why do so many Christians these days believe that the exercise of their faith requires exclusion and judgment of others?”

“Some people have a sincere, conscientious belief that marriage is defined as the union between a man and a woman,” Sprigg replied. “In fact the majority of Americans believe that.”

“Popularity is not the ultimate arbiter of what is right and wrong if protecting rights under the Constitution,” Cuomo said. “The question then goes to: why do you need this? What is it about someone being gay or someone wanting to marry someone of the same sex — what is there in that that is keeping you from being the Christian you want to be?…If I said, Mr. Sprigg, you must go marry a man right now, you can say, no, that’s a violation of my faith. Maybe that, you would be able clear this burden. But how is wanting to judge others somehow stopping you from practicing your faith?”

Sprigg objected that the burden placed on gay couples to find another florist or wedding photographer was nothing near the burden placed on religious business owners whom he said would be forced to violate their faith or suffer penalties.

“Everybody has the chance to be who they want to be in America except for apparently Christians in the wedding industry,” Sprigg said.

“It’s all irrelevant,” Cuomo said. “Jesus’ message to you guys was, ‘Love until it hurts and keep loving.’ That’s not what this is. This is exclusion.”

Cuomo did commend Sprigg for appearing on the program, which he said many others supporting the bill had declined to do.

Watch the clip below, via CNN:

[Image via screengrab]

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