The phone calls in Sen. Tom Cotton’s office are about to come in like a wrecking ball.
Pop star Miley Cyrus weighed in on the debate over new state efforts aimed at protecting religious liberty Thursday, which have stoked fears that they could open the door to discrimination against gay patrons.
The 22-year-old fired off a string of tweets to her 19.3 million followers in response to comments from Arkansas Republican Cotton made on CNN’s “The Situation Room” about attempts in Indiana and Arkansas to pass a Religious Freedom Restoration Act.
“Senator Cotton thinks gay community needs to get “perspective” cuz “In Iran they hang you for the crime of being gay,” she tweeted.
Sending out a link to the left-leaning blog Think Progress, which noted Cotton’s comments, she added: “Let’s stir some sh*t up! Senator Cotton (202) 224-2353 !!!! Happy Hippies call & express why freedom is important to us & our country!”
This week, Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson rejected an ‘religious freedom’ measure passed by the state legislature, saying it would need to be changed to more closely resemble a similar federal law, approved in 1993, which shields citizens from federal laws that may force them to violate their faith. A law passed in Indiana last week is also being tweaked to include stronger language aimed at ensuring against discrimination.
In the interview with CNN’s Wolf Blitzer, Cotton said it was important to have “perspective” when discussing the bill, and pointed to deliberations over a nuclear deal with Iran that concluded Thursday.
“It’s important that we have a sense of perspective about our priorities,” Cotton said. “In Iran, they hang you for the crime of being gay.”
Cotton made the comparison to Iran in the context of his primary purpose for appearing on CNN, which was to comment on the on-going Iran nuclear talks.
“We should focus on the most important priorities that our country faces right now, and I would say that a nuclear-armed Iran, given the threat that it poses to the region and to our interest in the region and to American citizens, is the most important thing we need to be focused on right now,” he said.
An email requesting comment from Cotton’s office was not immediately returned.