Ellen Page Confronts Ted Cruz in Iowa: "You’re Discriminating Against LGBT People"

Ted Cruz Ellen Page Split - H 2015
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Ted Cruz Ellen Page Split - H 2015

The duo got into a debate about religious liberty at the Iowa State Fair.

Ellen Page, wearing a hat and sunglasses, confronted presidential hopeful Ted Cruz at the Iowa State Fair on Friday while he was grilling pork chops. The exchange was caught on camera by ABC News. 

The actress is hosting a show for Vice Media titled Gaycation With Ellen Page, and her confrontation with the GOP political candidate is planned to be part of that series, her publicist told The Hollywood Reporter. The show was shot in different cities around the world and is now making its way to the U.S. 

The Texas senator and the actress got into a debate about religious liberty and LGBT discrimination. Page asked Cruz about LGBT people being fired for being gay or trans and he said, "Well, what we’re seeing right now, we’re seeing Bible-believing Christians being persecuted for living according to their faith."

"You’re discriminating against LGBT people," Page said to Cruz, as quoted by ABC News. The actress asked him if he would use that same argument when discussing segregation. 

"Now I’m happy to answer your question, but not to have a back-and-forth debate," said Cruz, before continuing his argument.

"No one has the right to force someone else to abandon their faith and their conscience," he said. The politician then reversed the standard narrative of a Christian florist denying wedding flowers to a gay couple. "Imagine, hypothetically, you had a gay florist and imagine two evangelicals wanted to get married and they decide, ‘You know what, I disagree with your faith and I don’t want to provide flowers,’" said Cruz. 

Page has been an advocate on LGBT issues, and chose to come out herself at the Human Rights Campaign's "Time to Thrive" event, a social-welfare conference for LGBT youth last year. She told THR in a 2014 cover story that she wanted to keep the focus on "something that means something to me, because I'm boring."

In her speech, she told the audience, "I'm here today because I am gay and because maybe I can make a difference, to help others have an easier and more hopeful time. Regardless, for me, I feel a personal obligation and a social responsibility.

ABC News reported that the actress and politician spoke to each other for five minutes on Friday and Cruz said he hadn't known it was Page at the time of their conversation.

"The senator had a great day at the fair and enjoyed the chance to converse will all those he encountered," stated a rep for Cruz. 

Seth Abramovitch contributed to this article. 

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