TAKE ACTION: Megyn Kelly Failed the LGBTQ Community and Viewers with Masterpiece Cakeshop Segment this morning

This morning, Megyn Kelly brought what she learned at Fox News around anti-LGBTQ messaging to her hour on the TODAY Show by giving a platform to the Alliance Defending Freedom, a Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) designated anti-LGBTQ hate group.  No air-time was given to LGBTQ and ally voices. Kelly spoke with ADF attorney Kristen Waggoner and her client Jack Philllips about the Masterpiece Cakeshop v. Colorado Civil Rights Commission, a case that the Supreme Court of the United States heard oral arguments for on Tuesday of this week. 

There has been much media attention around the case, with top-tier media outlets calling out the fact that this is not about cake, and ADF's history of being blatantly opposed to LGBTQ people. Even NBC news reported on it

But it seems Megyn Kelly and her producers didn't do their homework. Instead, they were complicit in providing an open platform for the ADF to espouse false narratives about the case. Kelly has a history of letting anti-LGBTQ organizations and individuals go unchecked and not informing her viewers of their strongly anti-LGBTQ viewpoints. The ADF aren't experts on artists or bakers, they are a known anti-LGBTQ organization. It seems that her remedial approach to covering LGBTQ issues has now found its way to her TODAY show episode.  

“Today Megyn Kelly allowed her morning show to be nothing more than a Trojan Horse to push the false talking points of a known anti-LGBTQ group, Alliance Defending Freedom, into homes across America," said GLAAD President and CEO Sarah Kate Ellis. "Parents across America tune into talk shows like this for fair and balanced presentations of news stories, and nothing about this egregious segment was fair or balanced. Kelly and her producers failed to fact check blatant false narratives about this case and merely extended her Fox News legacy of sitting idly by as anti-LGBTQ agendas are pushed forward.”

GLAAD is calling on producers and Kelly to provide time on the program for the LGBTQ community and allies to respond. 

Here are the top 5 ways the Kelly failed to be fair or balanced in this hyper-partisan nine-minute segment:

  1. The segment includes 20 seconds of recycled interviews of the LGBTQ couple Jack Phillips refused to serve and dedicates over 5 minutes to an interview with an ADF lawyer (again, an anti-LGBTQ hate group) and Jack Phillips. The ADF's history of pushing anti-LGBTQ cases is ignored. Additionally, Kelly provided absolutely no context about the well-documented and extensive anti-LGBTQ agenda of the ADF.  
  2. Megyn Kelly opens the segment by falling directly into the ADF's trap and saying the story is about a cake: "We begin this morning with a cake. That cake makes it all the way up to the US Supreme Court." THIS. IS. NOT. ABOUT. CAKE. Religious exemptions laws would allow doctors, landlords, adoption agencies, funeral homes, and more to legally deny service to LGBTQ families and other marginalized communities simply by citing religious beliefs.

    How did Megyn Kelly's producers fail to prep her about how that these laws could open floodgates to discrimination not just against same-sex couples, but also against unmarried couples, single parents and others across a wide array of areas and businesses? A bakery could refuse to sell a cake for a Jewish wedding, or for an interfaith couple’s marriage. An indoor playground could refuse to host a child’s birthday party because the child’s mother is unmarried. A pharmacist could refuse to fill a woman’s birth control prescription unless the woman provided proof that she’s married. A hotel could refuse to provide a room to any couple who didn’t show a valid marriage certificate. A pediatrician could refuse to treat the child of a lesbian couple because of a belief that only opposite-sex married couples should be allowed to be parents.
  3. Chyron: “Supreme Court case of religious freedom or discrimination.”
    Wrong. The case is not about “religious freedom,” it’s about asking for religious exemptions for existing non-discrimination laws like the one on the books in Colorado, that would allow for open discrimination of LGBTQ people. Just last week, more than 40 organizations including GLAAD called on mainstream media to use factually accurate terms about this case, and not fall into ADF talking points about so-called religious freedom. 
  4. Megyn Kelly: “Hundreds gathered outside the court to protest on both sides.” While true, a critical piece of information here is the rally organized in support of Jack was hosted by Tony Perkins, president of another SPLC designated anti-LGBTQ hate group, Family Research Council. The "other side" is not artists, bakers, or everyday people of faith, but anti-LGBTQ activists. Perkins supports the dangerous and scientifically discredited practice of so-called conversion therapy and has called LGBTQ advocates terrorists. It is also worth noting that Kelly hosted Perkins on her Fox New show over 13 times, despite his extensive and fringe anti-LGBTQ record. Hasn’t the media learned that if you are going to talk about “both sides,” you better talk about who exactly is represented in the crowds.  
  5. Megyn Kelly: “You can see the artistry of the cakes - they’re beautiful. That’s probably one of the reasons why the couple wanted one.” Kelly is pushing the ADF talking point that these cakes are artistic expression. The facts of this case are not about art. That's why bakers and other artists are silent on it. It about a business refusing service granted to everyone one else merely because they are LGBTQ.

BONUS: Megyn Kelly's record of anti-LGBTQ reporting: 

This is far from the first time that Megyn Kelly has allowed anti-LGBTQ voices to go unchecked. In fact, she made it part of her regular Fox News reporting, in addition to directly insulting members of the LGBTQ community. 

  • Hosted Tony Perkins, president Southern Poverty Law Center designated hate group, Family Research Council (FRC), on her Fox New show over 13 times, often while offering no counter voice.
    • Read GLAAD’s research on the extensive anti-LGBTQ record of FRC here
  • Mocked a transgender inmate, repeatedly misgendering her and making fun of her physical appearance alongside Bill O’Reilly.
  • Claimed LGBTQ rights are more protected than religious rights.
  • Hosted Maggie Gallagher, founder of National Organization for Marriage, and voiced disgust that the Obama Administration would no longer defend the unconstitutional DOMA law.
  • Hosted extreme anti-LGBTQ activist Brian Camenker to push sensationalistic anti-trans claims.
  • Argued that acting transgender youth would cause too much “confusion."