John Oliver Explains The Equality Act [VIDEO]

TIME Magazine breaks down last night’s show:

The fact that discrimination based on sexual orientation is legal in various cases in 31 states may surprise people, said Oliver, showing a poll that said 71% of Americans thought employment discrimination was illegal. “That’s optimistic, but wrong,” noted Oliver. “Like thinking wearing vertical stripes are flattering or making your first condom purchase ‘magnum.’” Oliver said extending civil rights to gay people should not solely be the provenance of the states, because while some ensure civil rights for all, other states adamantly do not. For example, Arkansas recently passed what Oliver described as an “anti-anti-discrimination” bill to prevent any city or county within the state to extend civil rights to gay people. To test the water for a federal law banning discrimination based on sexual orientation, Oliver’s team reached out to all the presidential candidates but only heard back from four, although that included Rand Paul’s campaign who answered “We’ll pass. Thanks.”

  • nowaRINO

    First Gov Kasich stripped LGB protections along with the T. He waffles, then just keeps the T’s out of the state worker pool.

    • Eebadee-eebadee-thatsallfolks

      Ohio is tied at the bottom of all the states for LGBT rights, and has been since 2004.

      • Gustav2

        Bexley, an inner suburb of Columbus, was shocked there were no LGBT protections in it’s own laws. Bexley is so solidly D and liberal, Republican politicians rarely show up in the 4th of July Parade.

        Most even well meaning people don’t’ know.

        • David Walker

          Sad but true. We got the big one, but we’re far from done. We are still 2nd class citizens, except that now we’re 2nd class citizens who can get married.

          • wmforr

            You took the word right out of Mildred Loving’s mouth.

      • Bj Lincoln

        One of the reasons I don’t go home to visit.

        • Eebadee-eebadee-thatsallfolks

          Me either. I told my parents I will pay to fly them out west whenever they want, but I’m not going back.

    • TommyTune

      And to think HE’S considered the “moderate” one of the bunch. To quote Rand Paul, “I’ll pass, thanks.”

    • jmax

      And in Kansas we have Brownback, who this year rescinded an executive order issued by former governor Kathleen Sebelius in 2007 giving LGBT state employees job protection. What kind of prick does something like that?

      • D. J.

        I take that’s a rhetorical question…. 😉

      • BudClark

        A very SMALL one, with a pustulant, faintly radioactive green ooze from the prepuce.

        • jmax

          Thanks. Bud. I was eating lunch. I’m not so hungry now : |

  • Homo Erectus

    Thank you for that wonderful rant, John.
    It is surprising that so many presidential wannabes couldn’t/wouldn’t answer his question. Voters need to hear where you stand on discrimination.

    • DaddyRay

      Surprised HRC had not yet responded

      • fuow

        Nobody’s offered to pay them enough to justify doing so.

      • David Walker

        They were throwing a party last night, but a couple of the secretaries (what is the term for that job now?)(srsly…I know it’s been changed, but I don’t know the current term) recorded it and will tell their bosses tomorrow or Wednesday. And the outcome will doubtless be the same.

        • DetailBear

          Usually “administrative assistant”.

          • David Walker

            That’s it. Thank you.

      • Toasterlad

        There wasn’t time to get a poll on how people felt about Oliver’s bit.

    • Ed Burrow

      I mean really…
      We’ll pass, thanks.
      what the fuck kind of response is that?

      • David Walker

        That of a coward. “My people don’t care about fags, so I’m not going to say anything. No fag’ll vote for me anyway.”

      • Eebadee-eebadee-thatsallfolks

        It’s still a response, which apparently HIllary’s team couldn’t manage to do. Ugh! She is not a leader on civil or human rights and never has been; she’s a follower at best. This is why I’m probably going to end up having to hold my nose to vote for her instead whatever creep the GOP nominates.

        • BobSF_94117

          Then Sen. Clinton was a co-sponsor of ENDA. She led the State Dept in unprecedented support for gay rights, a fight continued by her successor.

          • CJAS

            Did she really lead on ENDA?

          • Toasterlad

            She was the last high-profile Democrat to “evolve” on same-sex marriage. She was pushing “states rights” as little as two years ago.

            Hillary Clinton is the very definition of a fair-weather friend to the LGBT community. She follows the polls. Period. She has no personal convictions, no standard of decency, and no integrity.

        • GC

          She’ll still nominate far more reasonable Supreme Court justices than any Republican president’s additional Thomases, Robertses, and Scalias.

        • Toasterlad

          Or you could just vote for the candidate who has supported us from the beginning: Bernie Sanders.

      • pj

        ill pass on voting for him too

        • BudClark

          Never, ever, even CONSIDERED it, even when I was in a COMA the last time I was in hospital .

  • Joe in PA

    Good job John Oliver.

    I volunteer at Equality PA (with the goal of passing the Fairness Act), I’m astonished at the number of people that think gay people are already protected. Even well meaning progressives.

    • Eebadee-eebadee-thatsallfolks

      Very common misconception.

      • David Walker

        And it’s one that our enemies milk for all it’s worth. Changing hearts and minds on marriage equality was one thing, because people knew we couldn’t. The remainder of our civil rights will be more difficult simply because it’s assumed we’re now up to speed with straight people. Back to the trenches, people.

    • fuow

      It’s a major source of the ‘you want special, extra rights’ mentality. Most Americans falsely believe we are protected.

    • DonnaLee

      I donated to your organization this past June. And the people I talked to were happy I KNEW PA doesn’t have LGBT protections. They had spoken with many Pride attendees who did not.

  • Eebadee-eebadee-thatsallfolks

    LOL. I want a T shirt that says “You must be this gay to go on this ride”.

    Seriously, good job Oliver.

  • rednekokie

    I’m not surprised at all that so many presidential wannabees won’t answer your question. If equality meant anything at all to any of them, they would have already passed the proper legislation. And further, I’m not holding my breath for them to do it – even after this latest quagmire called an election.
    However, you are to be thanked for your frank and honest assessment of the situation. We need more of you!!!! Thanks, John, keep it up.

  • Gerry Fisher

    Jon who? (Kidding. But Oliver really is rocking the house.)

    • David Walker

      John Oliver isn’t exactly a good replacement for our Monday morning Matt Baume, but he’ll do.

      • Homo Erectus

        Can’t we have both?

  • TJay229

    That…. Was Grand Prize!

  • bambinoitaliano

    The presidential candidates all know really well what the laws are in regards to freedom of religion and the equality bills. Instead of educating their base, they are just happy to go along with their misunderstanding as long as they get to rile up their emotions to get the support. This is the kind of politics they are playing now. Who cares about facts? None of these candidates are accountable to tell the truth or acknowledging the laws to counter the misconception of the voters. They will go along with the ride and promise to enact and undo laws they know it’s near impossible. The bottom line is these are stupid voters and their votes are easy to get if you pander to their insane logic about the world. If you are a kindergarten teacher assigned to a class of 4 and 5 years old armed with assault rifles, what would you do?

    • RaygunsGoZap

      Turn on the gas, lock the door and go sit in the teachers lounge, flipping through the latest issue of Fingerhut?

      • bambinoitaliano

        Can we commit genocide for the sake of preserving humanity?

        • RaygunsGoZap

          I’m completely comfortable with that. As long as I’m the one making the calls. I don’t trust anyone else to do it right or know when it’s time to end. 😝

          • bambinoitaliano

            Unfortunately many dictators that committed mass murdering through out history have the same justification. Come over here and let me work out your aggression 🙂

          • RaygunsGoZap

            HEHEHE! I would call it disdain more than aggression, but I’ll come over nonetheless.

    • Toasterlad

      Bernie Sanders has actively pointed out that there are no legal protections for a LGBT people in the majority of states, and has vowed to fight for them as President.

      • bambinoitaliano

        Which means he will not be nominated.

        • Toasterlad

          If he’s not nominated, it’s because the Democratic machine has succeeded in selling the “unelectable” line favored by DLC types to keep driving the party to the right.

          The majority of Americans agree with Bernie Sanders on a majority of the issues, including LGBT rights. There is no reason to believe he is unelectable. There is every reason to believe that anyone saying differently has either been brainwashed by the party line, or is professionally or voluntarily pushing that line.

          • bambinoitaliano

            I always thought general election very much rely on the superficiality of name recognition and image regardless of specific political issues. Personally I prefer Bernie’s more left leaning view than the establishment of Hillary. Popularity is important. By next year, it might have to be Hillary if she has the better chance going up against the other party.

          • wmforr

            I’m so afraid that, if he is the candidate, the Repugs will kill him with one word: “socialist”.

            I have a sister-in-law who voted for Romney because “someone told me Obama was a socialist”. When I asked her what a socialist was, she was hem, haw, uh,…

          • Toasterlad


            The fact that no one who’s afraid of socialism knows what socialism means is why it’s a toothless argument.

            Once Sanders explains his policies, once people understand that that’s EXACTLY WHAT THEY WANT, once they know that it doesn’t mean we’ll all be living in communes and growing hemp clothes, the word “socialism” will lose its scare appeal.

  • Bj Lincoln

    Awesome John! Thank you for your support.

  • As usual a great bit from John Oliver, also I love his take on the anti-gay baker.

  • BobSF_94117

    Walker: “I went to a reception for a wedding I don’t think should be allowed by law.”

  • Michael Rush

    WHY WHY WHY ????

    why did he have to drag brenda’s dog cupcakes into this ?

    • Eebadee-eebadee-thatsallfolks

      Well it was about time somebody got honest with Brenda. I mean, when everybody is polite and then just throws them in the toilet when she’s not looking, it just encourages her to make more of them.

      [I was actually thinking of my aunt’s wheat germ cookies when I wrote that]

      • David Walker

        Isn’t there a vaccination for the wheat germ now?

        • Fyva Prold

          No. You’ll die.

  • Robert W. Pierce

    Some right-leaning gays here in England and Wales even believe that after marriage equality was settled in 2013, the battle for equality was overand done with, although we have protection in employment, housing and delivery of services for a number of years. There’s still more work to do in spite of it.

    • RoFaWh

      The ultimate goal should be that when a busybody says to someone “but he’s gay!” the response is “so what?”

  • Ninja0980

    Jon highlighted one of the biggest problems with LGBT protections and that is most people think we have them when we don’t.
    The fact is there still 29 states where you can get fired for being LGB and there is nothing you can do about it.
    The number is 32 for trans people and that includes NY, which won’t be seeing protections passed anytime soon.

  • Ragnar Lothbrok

    L O L !

    Cum cakes…….