Ellen DeGeneres ripped the Governor of Mississippi Phil Bryant‘s new religious freedom bill, an anti-LGBT law passed this week, with the most perfect monologue on Thursday, April 7. The beloved talk show host, a gay icon and advocate ever since she came out nearly 20 years ago, addressed the law — which allows people to deny LGBT people distinct privileges on the grounds of “religious freedom.”
“I thought a lot about what I wanted to say today, and there’s something I want to get off my chest,” DeGeneres, 58, noted to her audience. “It’s a mole that looks like it’s changed shape, but I’m gonna talk to my doctor about that. What I really want to talk about today is what happened this week in Mississippi. Um, I don’t know what Mr. Sippy is doing, but I’m very worried about Mrs. Sippy.” (DeGeneres and her wife, Portia de Rossi, have been married since 2008.)
“So, if you don’t know, the Governor of the state signed a religious freedom bill, which might sound good because the word ‘freedom’ is in it, but here’s what it means: Under the law, if you say for religious reasons you can ‘deny gay people marriage, adoption and foster care services; fire or refuse to employ them; and decline to rent or sell them property,'” she explained, as the tone turned serious.
“Now, I’m not a political person, I’m really not. But this is not politics, this is human rights,” she said as the audience cheered and applauded in response. “I mean, and when I see something wrong, I have to talk about it. It’s the same thing that I do when I see men wearing Spandex in line at Starbucks. It’s wrong and I need to discuss it.”
“So, this issue is very personal to me, obviously. I’m disappointed for several reasons,” she continued. “First of all, Mississippi is the only state I know how to spell. Second of all, that is the definition of discrimination. It is also something that the Supreme Court already ruled on when they made marriage a right for everyone, everyone. And they’re Supreme.”
DeGeneres, who was born and raised in Metairie, Louisiana, shared why this issue especially hit home. “I grew up in the South right next door, in Louisiana. I used to go to Mississippi as a kid all the time … [If] you’re saddened by the fact that people are judging you based on who you love, don’t lose hope,” she reflected. “I was fired for being gay and I know what it feels like. I lost everything. But look at me now. I could buy that Governor’s mansion, flip it and make a $7 million dollar profit. I mean look, there’s already so much inequality in the world: women’s rights, gender pay gap, racism … I think we need to remember that we are more similar than we are different. And we all want the same things. Love, acceptance, kindness.”
Watch the powerful monologue above.
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