LYNCHBURG, Va. — Louisiana governor Bobby Jindal on Saturday slammed HGTV for canceling a proposed HGTV real estate reality show after news broke that one of the brothers has actively campaigned against marriage equality and LGBT rights.
Speaking at the commencement for Liberty University, the private Christian college founded by Jerry Falwell, Jindal expressed concern for what he called “the war on religious liberties,” and cited David and Jason Benham, hosts of the HGTV show cancelled last week, as well as Duck Dynasty star Phil Robertson, who was suspended by A&E late last year after making racist and anti-gay remarks in a GQ magazine interview.
“Make no mistake: the war over religious liberty is the war over free speech, and without the first there is no such thing as the second.
“There was a time when liberals in this country believed in debate. But that is increasingly not the case for the modern Left in America. No, the modern Left in America has grown tired of debate. Their new strategy is simply to try to silence their critics.
“And the same thing happened again just this week, with another demonstration of intolerance from the entertainment industry. HGTV was working on a new show featuring the Benham brothers, twin brothers who graduated from right here at Liberty University in 1998.
“But HGTV cancelled the show this week, allegedly because they learned that one of the brothers protested at the Democrat Party Convention, and the other had protested at an abortion clinic. Think about that for a minute. If these guys had protested at the Republican Party Convention, instead of canceling their show, HGTV would probably have given them a raise.”
Jindal’s speech also included words of support for Hobby Lobby, a family-owned company which argued before the U.S. Supreme Court in March, seeking religious exemptions from the Affordable Care Act to for-profit corporations.
The Benham brothers, who themselves are 1998 graduates of Liberty University, were seated in the front row for Jindal’s keynote speech.
Back in Jindal’s Louisiana, lawmakers voted twice last month against bills to prohibit housing discrimination against gays, an LGBT-inclusive workplace protections bill was pulled for lack of support, and the state House voted overwhelmingly to keep in tact the state’s unconstitutional anti-sodomy law.