Ellen Page on set
Ellen Page on set

Watch Ellen challenge the American senator Ted Cruz on LGBT rights.

Iowa’s state fair on Friday played home to a debate between actress Ellen Page and Republican presidential candidate Ted Cruz. They discussed the problem of discrimination against LGBT individuals and the protection of religious liberty.

The debate remained polite with Page beginning by acknowledging that people had used “religious liberty” arguments when opposing racial integration in America’s earlier generations. She stated that “A lot of religious people used the Bible to defend segregation, to defend slavery. I think religious freedom is so important and so crucial for all religions. LGBT people are worried they will directly be discriminated against.”

While Page attempted to keep the conversation going in the direction of insufficient anti-discrimination laws, the Canadian born Senator focused on his perceived religious discrimination around the country.

He claimed that business owners are facing discrimination by being asked to serve all customers equally, including gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender individuals. In an attempt to further the discussion from American soil, Cruz accused Page and other LGBT activists of remaining silent on the treatment of LGBT individuals in countries such as Iran, Iraq, and Syria.

In response to Cruz’s claims, the Human Rights Campaign’s Senior Vice President for Policy and Political Affairs, JoDee Winterhof said “Ted Cruz showed today that he is living in another era where he thinks it’s acceptable to treat LGBT people differently and allow businesses to refuse service to someone just because of who they are, or who they love. Today Ted Cruz was served an important reminder that in a country like ours that values the free market economy, businesses should serve all law-abiding customers who can afford to pay equally, including lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender people.”

Check out the video below.