Van Jones, host of CNN's Crossfire,
on Sunday applauded the defeat of a bill in Arizona which opponents
said would allow an individual or business to discriminate against
gay people on the basis of their religious beliefs.
Arizona Governor Jan Brewer, a
Republican, vetoed the measure after a loud outcry from politicians,
corporations and activists.
Appearing on an ABC News This Week
panel, Jones, former Obama White House adviser on green jobs, said
the law would lead to “No Gays Allowed” signs on storefronts.
“The one great achievement in the
last century, we took out of American lexicon six words: We don't
serve your kind here,” Jones said. “Those 'No Blacks Allowed'
signs came down, we don't want to see 'No Gays Allowed' signs in this
Rich Lowry, editor of the National
Review, defended the bill, saying that it has nothing to do with
gay rights, though he went on to say that the law was needed to
protect bakers, florists and photographers from being “punished”
for not participating in a gay wedding.
“First of all, if you own a coffee
shop and you refuse to serve a gay person, one, you're an idiot, two,
you're not going to have a defense under this law, because serving
someone coffee is not a burden on your religion,” Lowry said. “The
cases we're talking about that are relevant here is bakers, florists,
photographers, evangelical Christians or Catholics, who say, 'I don't
have any problem with gay people, but I don't want to participate in
a gay wedding, because I have conscientious objections to it.' And
there have been cases where people have been punished, Van, for that.
Reported to the authorities for sanctions or fines. That is wrong.
And that is what is trying to be addressed here.”
Jones wasn't swayed, saying that
bigotry has no place in the marketplace.
“Look, if you want to be a bigot on
your own time, that's fine,” Jones said. “But if you want to
extend that to your LCC, to your business that you own and hold out
to the public, you can't point to God to excuse your bigotry. Not in
America.” (The video is embedded on this page. Visit
our video library for more videos.)