Last Week Tonight with John Oliver (2014–…): Season 2, Episode 26 - LGBT Anti-Discrimination - full transcript

Despite the victory for marriage equality this summer, there is a long way to go to end LGBT discrimination, as John explains.

Are you wondering how healthy the food you are eating is? Check it -

Season II,
Episode 26

Welcome to "Last Week Tonight" !
Thank you so much for joining us.

I'm John Oliver. Just time
for a quick recap of the week,

and we begin in North Korea,

named "Best Korea"
for 70 years running

by "North Korea Magazine".

This has been
a particularly tense week

on North Korea's
southern border.

New pictures to share with you.

The North Korean military
seemingly standing by,

ready to attack South Korea
if given the word.

Holy shit.
So, if given the word,

North and South Korea
could be at war.

And interestingly,
that word is Kookamunga.

You cannot say Kim Jong-un
does not have a sense of humor.

You can't say it.

Now, both sides have exchanged fire
across the DMZ

and the South has been
employing an unusual weapon.

South Korean loudspeakers blaring

of North Korean leader
Kim Jong-un's regime.

The North has told
the South to turn it down

or face more military action.

Look, North Korea,

if your neighbor is blasting horrible
noise at all hours of the day,

you don't retaliate with war.

You leave a passive-aggressive note.

There is an etiquette
for how we handle this stuff.

The speakers have been blasting
not just news about Kim Jong-un,

but also, and this is true,
South Korean pop music.

They haven't said exactly
what music they've been playing,

but I hope it's some
of the better K-pop stuff.

I'm talking "Seoulight"
by Neon Bunny,

basically anything
by Uhm Jung Hwa,

Jo Sung Mo's early stuff,

or maybe TVXQ, of course,
before Hero Jaejoong left,

'cause after that, the whole band's
sound went to shit.

I didn't need
to Google any of that.

That was all up here
and in here.

The two sides are
currently still negotiating

and we can only hope
that things calm down.

Nobody wants North Korea
firing a nuclear weapon.

And heaven help us all
if South Korea chooses to play this.

That was a hit
by Hwang Min-Woo.

Please, South Korea, do not play that
through your speakers.

That's not just
a declaration of war,

that's basically sarin gas
with backbeat and an Auto-Tune.

Let's move on to Russia,

the prequel and sequel
to the Soviet Union.

Over the years,

Vladimir Putin has launched
assaults on many things,

from Ukraine
to the concept of shirts

to unrubbed
puppy dog tummies.

That is real

and it is the most likable photo
Putin has ever taken,

and also the most unlikable photo
that dog has ever taken.

Recently, Putin has been focusing
on a new target.

Russian President Vladimir Putin
has declared a war on cheese.

After he issued
a presidential decree,

a mound of it was destroyed
by a bulldozer.

Authorities also incinerated
giant loads of bacon

and destroyed peaches
and tomatoes.

In all, hundreds of tons of food
have been eliminated recently

in Russia.

Okay, that's terrible.

That is a level of food destruction
not seen in Russia

since the 18th century reign
of Gallagher the Terrible.

And he was merciless.

Let me explain.

Putin has banned the import
of much Western food

in response to sanctions
over his behavior in Ukraine,

and he's clamping down
on any contraband.

Last week, officials
in the village of Apastovo

flattened three frozen geese
from a local shop.

Now, on one hand, it is shocking to see
that kind of massive food waste.

On the other hand,
geese can go fuck themselves.

And I'll tell you why. They are asshole
ducks who got really into CrossFit,

and they deserve
to be crushed with a tank.

I do not want
to argue about this.

Now, interestingly, while importing
certain Western products is a crime,

they can still show up
in stores,

which is why some Russian groups
are now using stickers

to warn people away
from any Western products.

This one says "sanctioned product",
and it has a picture

of the Stars and Stripes
of the United States,

the golden stars
of the European Union

and standing in front of them,
a Russian bear.

Russia, that is ridiculous,
and I'll tell you why.

Putting bears on food, does not make
people buy that food less.

It makes them buy it more.

Most of us only buy honey so we can
give a tiny bear a squeeze.

But unsurprisingly, with the Russian
economy struggling at the moment,

this destruction of food has not been
universally popular.

I believe it is possible to find
a better use for food,

rather than just burn it.

It would be better
to use it as humanitarian aid,

to collect it and send it
to those who need food.

Exactly. Somebody needs
to tell Putin

that destroying food
by making it inedible

does not make you a strong leader,
it makes you Guy Fieri.

So, just stop it.

And finally this week,
we turn to Greece,

the home of geniuses
like Socrates, Aristotle

and this guy in Mykonos with
an elephant trunk thong on his dick.

It's a vibrant country.

This has been a crazy year for
Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras.

He was elected in January, promising
to end harsh austerity measures

but then capitulated in negotiations
with European banks

and agreed to extend them.
an idea that was so unpopular,

even he himself tried
to distance himself from it

when selling
the measures to parliament.

I will admit that the measures
we are tabling are harsh.

I don't believe they will
help the Greek economy,

and I say so openly,

but I also say that I must
implement them.

That is not
an inspirational tone to set.

You did not hear FDR selling
the New Deal by saying:

"Is this gonna work ?
Who the fuck knows ?"

"Probably not,
but it's definitely better"

"than me taking a shit in a typewriter,
my only other idea."

"So we're doing it.
We're doing this now."

Tsipras has been losing support,
even within his own party.

On Thursday he made
a surprise announcement.

Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras
announced today he's resigning,

He says he has a moral duty
to allow the Greek people to judge

his brief and tumultuous time
as leader at the polls.

So, another election ?
You just had one in January.

Greece, you're not producing
seasons of "The Voice" !

So Sawyer Fredricks
is The Voice now ?

I was just getting used
to Craig Wayne Boyd as The Voice.

You're moving too fast, NBC !

Give me one The Voice
at a time !

Now, resigning just
seven months into office

might seem like a sign of weakness,
but some argue

this is a politically savvy move.

Tsipras has decided to go straight
to the nation

in an attempt to silence his rebels
and renew his mandate,

and it could work.

He'll be asking the Greek people
to re-elect him

before the effects of the new
bailout measures are truly felt.

That is brilliant.

Ask to be re-elected now
so that voters will be stuck with you

by the time they realize how terrible
you made their lives.

Tsipras, you've just pulled off

the electoral equivalent
of a Tom Cruise marriage proposal.

- "Will you marry me ?"
- "Yes."

"Now that you've agreed
to be mine forever,"

"let's discuss how Earth was colonized
with alien spirits"

"by the dictator
of a galactic confederacy."

"You said yes."

And now this.

Another check-in with the most
patient man on television.

When you want to vote Republican,

you take a chicken
to the doctor,

put an aspirin between
your knees

and pray for the country.

Obama's an idiot.

The only thing that Obama's
got going for him

is that he's got a bunch
of idiots that listen to him

and believe his same old
Nazi commie crap.

We've got to stand up
and say enough.

It's just a bunch of crap.

Bunch of crap,
if you ask me.

Just a bunch of leftist garbage.

The Democrats included are scum.

Pleasant scum,
but scum nevertheless.

- Hi, am I on the air ?
- You sure are.

Fuck !

We'll go to Greg in Spruce Pine,
North Carolina.

Moving on. Our main story tonight
concerns progress.

It's the reason that your grandparents'
views are better not spoken in public.

"Why did I bring you to 'Straight Outta
Compton', Papa ?"

"This is partly on me."

In the recent Republican
presidential debate,

there was a genuinely
encouraging sign.

The subject
of gay marriage came up

and presidential candidate John Kasich
responded like this.

Guess what ? I just went
to a wedding of a friend of mine

who happens to be gay.

Because somebody doesn't
think the way I do,

doesn't mean that I can't care
about them or can't love them.

A gay wedding just got applause
at a Republican debate.

Add that to the list of things that
would've been unthinkable in 2004,

like the phrase "Academy Award Winner
Matthew McConaughey".

People would've said
you were insane.

And look,
it's not just Kasich.

Jeb Bush, Rick Perry,
Bobby Jindal and Marco Rubio

have all said they would attend
a gay wedding if invited,

which I can only imagine
is terrible news

for any of their
gay acquaintances who invited them

only on the assumption that
they would decline to attend

and send a very expensive
gift instead.

"Well, I didn't think he would say yes,
did I, Mark ?"

"Now, which of your friends wants
to sit with Bobby Jindal ?"

"Yes, your friends.
I like my friends."

Not all of the candidates
have been quite so clear.

Governor Scott Walker,
for instance,

had a much more
squirrelly response.

Would you attend
a gay wedding ?

That's certainly a personal issue.
For a family member,

me and Tonette went
to a reception.

I haven't been to a wedding, but...

But I think marriage is defined
between a man and a woman

and I support the Constitution.

But we've been at a reception.

What ?

It's a yes or no question.

How the hell did you respond
on the RSVP card

when asked
if you wanted chicken or fish ?

"That's certainly
a personal question for dinner."

"Tonette and I already had chicken
at a restaurant,"

"last week I believe. I haven't had
fish recently, though."

"I still believe it is certainly a meal,
which is my position."

"Although, according to the menu,
there is a vegetarian option."

"To answer your question,
I have eaten chicken in the past."

While the idea of a gay wedding
is increasingly widely accepted,

it is worth noting that there are still
a number of surprising ways

to ruin a gay honeymoon.

Today, in most states an LGBT person
can get married on Saturday,

post photos of their wedding
on Sunday

and get fired from their job or thrown
out of their apartment on Monday

just because of who they are.

That's clearly terrible.

The only possible reason
you should be fired from your job

after your wedding is if your theme
was stolen office supplies.

That's the only logical reason.

But it is true that discriminating
against gay people

is surprisingly legal
in much of the country.

The fact is, in 31 states,

people are at risk
of being fired, evicted

or refused service just
because they're gay.

So, while federal law may guarantee
a gay couple's right to get married,

it offers exactly zero guarantees
about their right to do the things

that follow that, like signing a lease
on an apartment they can't afford,

conducting tense discussions
about finances

in the brightly lit tapas restaurant
of their choosing

or applying
for a small business loan

to get Brenda's stupid
cupcakes-for-dogs idea off the ground.

Brenda, all cupcakes
are cupcakes for dogs !

They eat
their own shit, Brenda,

which is just as well,
'cause your cupcakes are terrible.

They're terrible, B !

If you are surprised by this,

don't worry. You're not alone.

A 2013 poll showed
that nearly 70% of people thought

it was illegal under federal law

for someone to be fired
for being gay.

People believe it because it feels
like it should be true.

It's optimistic
but wrong,

like thinking vertical stripes
are flattering

or making your first
condom purchase Magnums.

but statistically wrong.

There are plenty of recent
real-life examples of discrimination.

Look at Collin Dewberry
and Kelly Williams,

a Texas couple who visited
a restaurant called Big Earl's,

where the waitress
had something to say to them.

She said:
"We don't serve fags here."

Then the waitress continued, they say.

"Here at Big Earl's, we like for men
to act like men,"

"and for ladies to act like ladies."

And it was just
so nonchalantly,

almost like she was reading
a piece of paper.

She was. That phrase is posted
on the front door of the restaurant.

She's a young lady,
didn't know what else to say

And they just kept on,
so she finally said:

"We just don't like fags."

Okay, that is
obviously appalling,

and also, someone might
want to tell Big Earl

that having a sign saying,
"where men act like men"

is actually the single
gayest thing imaginable.

That's an example of discrimination
regarding public accommodation.

For discrimination in the workplace,
take the case of Casey Stegall,

a gay man employed as a children's
social services worker in Texas.

His fiancé showed up
to help him one day

because he needed help
with overseeing a field trip.

And the next thing he knew,
this happened.

Later in that week,

I got a text message from the president
of Children's Home,

saying I needed to come
meet with him.

He told me, because
of my lifestyle choices,

he didn't feel comfortable
having me on his team anymore.

For the record, being gay
is clearly not a lifestyle choice.

A lifestyle choice is when a man
gets obnoxiously into jazz

or goes on an Atkins diet

and starts a food blog
called "Protein Wolf".

Both of which you should
actually be fired for,

but that's not what we're talking
about tonight.

The fact is, this kind of discrimination
can have ripple effects,

like when this Michigan couple
had their pediatrician refuse

to treat their baby
because they were lesbians,

which, as they point out,
is crazy.

She's your patient. Your job is to keep
babies healthy,

and you can't keep a baby healthy
that has gay parents ?

Exactly, but to be fair,
no one can keep any baby healthy,

regardless of the parents.

Babies are
fleshy bacteria magnets.

They're basically
vomit volcanoes.

They're going to get sick
and they're going to make you sick.

But it is amazing that stories like this
are still taking place.

This may not be
the case everywhere.

Some states and cities
do have good protections,

and I suppose we could wait
for every state to catch up.

But there are certain issues
too important to be left to the states,

specifically civil rights
and state birds.

You chose the scissor-tailed
flycatcher, Oklahoma ?

Are you fucking kidding me ?

How do you not go
with the eastern phoebe ?

That bird is
a pure-winged majesty,

but you went and chose a piece
of garbage with a beak ?

It looks like it fell out
of Miranda July's hair !

That's a shit bird, Oklahoma !

Shame on you !
You're on the wrong side of history !

Anyway, the point is,

states have a checkered history
when it comes to civil rights.

Just look at Arkansas right now.

Not only do they not have any
antidiscrimination ordinances,

earlier this year,
they actually passed

an anti-antidiscrimination ordinance,
that prevents any city or county

from extending civil rights protections
to gay people.

Here's a sponsor
of that law explaining why.

I want to be treated equal,

like I want someone from the
"LBGD" community to be treated equal.

Everyone should have
the same rights.

What are you talking about ?

This is not about "special rights."

We're not creating "lesbians only"
sections on airplanes

or putting up signs
at Six Flags saying

"you must be this gay
to go on this ride".

This is just basic equality.
That's all it is.

Now, there have been some positive
moves at the federal level.

Just last month,
the EEOC ruled

the Civil Rights Act
applies to LGB workers.

A year ago, the president added
LGBT protections

for federal contractors.

But those protections
could be undone by his successor.

Two of the Republican governors
running for president

actually weakened their states'
nondiscrimination policies.

Bobby Jindal let
an executive order expire

and John Kasich kept his
but removed the protections

for transgender workers.

And it must be strange
to live in a state

and see progress
actually move backwards.

It would be like if Apple
suddenly introduced the iPhone 7

and it was a flip phone.

That's still not as dumb
as the Apple Watch,

but it's dumb.

Not that dumb,
but dumb.

Now, the main argument against
extending these protections

is that it might force people to act
against their religious beliefs,

hence the rise of Religious Freedom
Restoration Acts around the country.

And religious freedom is not
an inherently bad thing.

I'm not just saying that
'cause I'm the current mega-reverend

of Our Lady
of Perpetual Exemption.

Praise be !

Praise be unto you.

This is not about me.

We allow for religious freedom
in limited, sensible ways all the time.

It's why Muslims can wear a hijab
in their driver's license photo

and why devout Christians can't
be forced to work on the Sabbath.

But there are
reasonable limits to it.

And we've all heard it mistakenly cited
in stories like this.

Colorado baker Jack Phillips estimates
he's made 5 000 wedding cakes

since he opened his shop,
Masterpiece Cakes, 20 years ago.

A deeply religious man,
Jack Phillips says he'll bake

birthday cakes, cupcakes
and a variety of other sweets

for same-sex couples,
just not a wedding cake.

I feel like I'm taking part
in the wedding.

Part of me goes
to the reception.

Part of you goes
to the reception ?

I have a horrifying sense
what that might mean.

In a way, I've been
married 5 000 times.

In another way,
I cum in the cake.

That baker denied service
to a gay couple in 2012,

saying that providing
them with a wedding cake

would offend his definition
of traditional marriage.

But that's a little hard to square

with the fact that he allegedly
had no problem providing a cake

for a wedding between two dogs.

Look, those dogs
may lick their own balls,

but I'm sure
they are regretting

ordering a vanilla cum cake
from the ejaculating baker of Colorado.

But the bigger flaw
in his argument

is his understanding
of how the law works.

The Constitution guarantees
me the right to practice my faith,

my religion, anywhere, anytime.
There are no restriction.

It also gives me the right
to free speech.

Except it doesn't, though.

Courts have already decided there are
limits on religious freedom.

You can't discriminate on race
based on your religious beliefs.

There are limits on free speech. You
can't yell "fire" in a crowded theater.

The Constitution isn't the star
in Super Mario Brothers.

It doesn't make you invincible.

Now, just so you know,
that baker lost his case,

because Colorado happens
to be one of the states

that has a law banning discrimination
based on sexual orientation.

And when states have those laws,

even states with religious freedom acts,

cases do now tend to go gay people's
way, which is good.

The problem is there are still
way too many states

that don't have antidiscrimination
laws at all.

So, maybe it's time
we just fix all of this,

nationwide, in one go.

There is something called
the Equality Act in Congress right now

which adds LGBT protections
to the Civil Rights Act,

the Fair Housing Act and so on.

It has over 200 cosponsors
in the House and Senate.

Unfortunately, precisely zero of them
are Republican,

which is genuinely difficult to do.

For instance, there's an actual bill
that just designated September the 25th

as National Lobster Day.

Even that had
two Republican cosponsors.

Look, I'm not saying lobsters
don't deserve recognition

from our government,
because they absolutely do.

Although, do they ?
That's not the point.

The point is, this bill represents

the bare minimum of not
being discriminated against

and this should be what represents
the threshold of true gay tolerance,

not whether or not you would
consider attending a gay wedding.

So, we actually reached out to every
single presidential candidate

and asked them "would you support
passage of a federal law that prohibits"

"discrimination based on sexual
orientation and gender identity"

"in the areas of employment, housing,
public accomodation

and access to credit".
It's a long question, yes.

But it's not a complicated one.

But only four campaigns
got back to us.

Lincoln Chafee and Martin O'Malley
said they would,

but I think they were just happy
anyone had asked them anything.

So, discount that.
Bernie Sanders also said he would

and a spokesman for Rand Paul said:
"We'll pass. Thanks."

Okay. You're welcome.

Everyone else is presumably
still thinking about it.

But why ?
We reached out on Thursday

and it should not take that long
to work out

the answer to "should gay people
be discriminated against ?".

It's just "no".
That's it.

It is long past time that gay people
have the same rights

that straight people have,

namely to be fired because they're
being replaced by a computer,

to be denied service
at a restaurant

because they're neither
wealthy-looking nor attractive

and to have a wedding cake,
but not eat it

because they suspect a strange man
may have ejaculated into it.

And now this.

The most patient man on television
faces his greatest challenge.

Next we'll go to Susan in Boston.
Good morning, Susan.

We'll try Marge
in Peoria, Illinois.

- Marge, good morning.
- Good morning.

You're on the air. Go ahead,
you're on the air, Marge.


This is Susan that was
on the air.

Susan, please go ahead.

- This is Marge now.
- Okay, I'm gonna...

And finally, tonight,
you might remember last week,

we discussed about
seed faith,

specifically how some preachers use it
to extract money from the vulnerable.

We then launched our own church,
Our Lady of Perpetual Exemption,

and asked you...

Praise be !

And we asked you to send us
money at this address.

And to be honest,
slightly more of you responded

than we were expecting.

Before I show you
just how many, let me stop,

because I firmly believe in the
separation of church and show.

So, I'm going to hand over now
to Pastor John Oliver,

mega-reverend and CEO.

So, please, at home,
bow, kneel, sit, stand

or whatever the fuck
it is our church does

and let us all together,
once again, go to church.

Brothers and sisters,
thank you so much for joining us.

Praise be.
First, apologies to you.

My wife, Wanda Jo, cannot be
with us this evening.

She is at our summer parsonage
in Hawaii

for a week of spiritual introspection
and parasailing. Praise Wanda !

Last week we asked you
to send us your seed offerings

and I would like to show you a little
of what we received,

because look at this harvest
you gave unto us.

Praise unto you ! Praise !

If I may, just a little feedback

on some of the blessings
that you've sent in.

I think we made it clear
"seed faith" is metaphorical,

and we did not want
your actual seeds,

which is why
it was so disappointing

that someone sent
this gigantic bag of seeds to us.

It was the biggest bag
of seeds I'd ever seen

until the next day, when this actual
bag of seeds turned up.

Let me reiterate.
We want your actual money.

Call this number
and give it to us.

Do not send us seeds.

And also, do not send us
beef jerky,

as someone else inexplicably
sent in this week.

Also, let me be clear,
we want US currency.

I should've mentioned
that last week,

because we have received currency
from all over the world,

including this 100 trillion
dollar bill from Zimbabwe.

I was actually
genuinely excited about this

and was about to send 100 trillion
blessings your way

until I checked
the exchange rate

and found out that this
is worth about 40 cents,

so now I wouldn't even bless you
if you fucking sneezed.

But, for those of you

who have sent us US currency,
great blessings unto you.

We have received
thousands of envelopes

with thousands of dollars,
some featuring heartwarming notes,

such as this 5 dollar bill,
attached to a letter reading

"take my seed,
"you rat-faced bastard".

Praise be. We also received
multiple checks,

including this one
for 65 billion dollars,

which you may have
sent in as a joke,

but we're fucking cashing it.
So who's laughing now ?

Anyway, keep your money
coming in, to this address.

Remember, the more money
you send in,

the more blessings will be
returned to you,

and that is still something
I am amazingly legally allowed to say.

That is our show. We are
off for the next two weeks.

I'm off to join Wanda Jo
on our Jet Ski.

It's a preaching machine,
brothers and sisters !

So, good night !

And join us later. Praise be !
Praise unto you.

Praise !

We ain't interested
in your seeds !

We ain't interested
in your seeds.

No more seeds.

Not seeds. Money.


Season II,
Episode 26