Seth Meyers takes Georgia and North Carolina to task over their anti-LGBT bills on Late Night
Seth Meyers took “a closer look” at religious freedom laws that were recently proposed in North Carolina and Georgia during Wednesday’s episode of Late Night. The bills have caused outrage for what people perceive as discrimination against the LGBT community.
They come in light of the legalization of same-sex marriage by the Supreme Court last year, with certain conservative states electing to bypass or ignore the ruling, and now choosing to pass laws that would actively discriminate against members of the LGBT community on religious grounds, with Indiana being the earliest and most-talked about example. More recently, Georgia has passed a religious liberty bill that would allow faith-based organizations – including Chick-Fil-A and Hobby Lobby – to deny services and hire or fire based on sexual orientation.
“That’s right, the bill would have qualified Chick-Fil-A as faith-based. Although to be fair, anywhere 15-year-olds are cooking your dinner, you’re operating on faith,” Meyers joked. “So Chick-Fil-A is doing God’s work, whereas Chipotle practices the dark arts.”
The comedian argued that the biggest problem with the law is how broadly it defines faith-based organizations, as evidenced by a state senator questioning the law’s sponsor as to whether the KKK – which describes itself as a Christian organization – would be protected under the bill.
The state’s Republican Gov. Nathan Deal announced on Monday that he would not be signing the bill into law, citing his religion as a reason not to discriminate against others as seen through Jesus’ teachings in the New Testament.
“Yeah that’s the New Testament. You need to read the New, New Testament where Jesus is opposed to same-sex marriages, teachers unions, financial reform and Obamacare,” Meyers continued.
While the governor deserves credit for vetoing the bill, the host also noted that he received an immense amount of pressure from companies that threatened to stop doing business in Georgia if the bill became a law, including AMC, which films zombie drama The Walking Dead in the southern state.
However, North Carolina’s Gov. Pat McCrory took the opposite approach, signing into law a bill that not only allows discrimination against LGBT people, but also overturned a non-discrimination ordinance passed last month in Charlotte, which would have allowed transgender individuals to select the restroom of their choice based on how they identify. Similar bills have been passed in states like Florida where businesses are allowed to check people’s ID’s before they’re allowed to use the restroom.
“Let’s all just spare a thought for the poor soul at the Tallahassee Applebee’s who has to card people on the way to the bathroom,” added Meyers, who imagined a fake conversation where the person admitted to being a “toilet bouncer” with dreams of moving to Georgia to become a zombie.
Meyers concluded, “These so-called bathroom bills are ridiculous for one thing, and there’s no evidence that sexual predators have ever exploited equal rights laws to commit crimes in bathrooms. Most importantly, laws like these legalize discrimination.” Watch the segment below:
The Late Night host – who routinely joked about political issues during his tenure as anchor of SNL‘s Weekend Update – continues to extensively cover the world of politics on a nightly basis in a way that is often superior to that of Late Show host Stephen Colbert and The Daily Show with Trevor Noah. The move is a wise one in an election year, but he also risks turning off viewers who stick around after The Tonight Show that aren’t into politics or may reside on the other side of the aisle.
Late Night with Seth Meyers airs weeknights at 12:35 p.m. on NBC. Next week’s guests include Claire Danes, Jerrod Carmichael, Cecily Strong, Chuck Todd and Matthew Perry.
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