At the beginning of Monday night's Daily Show, Jon Stewart tackled "the elephant in the room," the naming of his replacement and Twitter-fueled "kerfuffle" that greeted it. "Trevor Noah will earn your trust and respect — or not," Stewart said, noting that the same thing could be said about him. (Or anyone, really, come to think of it.) He got more effusive in his praise. Then Stewart got down to the main story of the night: Indiana's controversial new "religious freedom" law.
After a corporate and public backlash, Indiana Gov. Mike Pence (R) pushed for and signed changes to the law, specifically banning discrimination against gays and lesbians. But Stewart focused on the conservative protestations that such changes weren't needed or, in the case of Mike Huckabee, were forced on Indiana by the "militant gay community." So, Stewart said, "when gays want equality, it's militancy, and when Christians want to deny service, it's freedom."
Then Stewart made his case: "Those who are defending this sort of law go very far out of their way to say how it's not discriminatory toward anybody, especially gay people — they have nothing against gay people." But the analogies conservatives like Rick Santorum use to clarify their position, he added, only end up comparing gay couples to the KKK, the "God Hates Fags" church, and Nazis. "Basically, you see people celebrating love as a hate group." Watch to the end if you want to see Jordan Klepper's sendup of the Indiana pizzaria that became famous for all the wrong reasons. —Peter Weber
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