Ellen DeGeneres spoke to her audience on Wednesday about Mississippi's controversial new law targeting the LGBTQ community — a topic that some might consider political, but as DeGeneres said, "This is not politics, this is human rights."
"When I see something wrong, I have to talk about it," DeGeneres said in her monologue. "It's the same thing that I do when I see men wearing spandex in line at Starbucks."
Mississippi Gov. Phil Bryant signed House Bill 1523 (known as the "religious freedom" bill) into law on Tuesday. Proponents of the bill say that the new law protects the religious values of those who believe that marriage should only be between a man and a woman.
Many LGBTQ advocates, including DeGeneres, disagree. She called the bill the "definition of discrimination."
The new law allows residents to deny members of the LGBT community services (and, arguably, rights) related to marriage, adoption, foster care, employment, and housing.
"This is the most hateful bill I have seen in my career in the legislature," Mississippi Rep. Stephen Holland told BuzzFeed. "You ought to be ashamed of yourself. You are doing nothing but discrimination."
In her monologue, DeGeneres referenced both the Supreme Court ruling that legalized same-sex marriage and the new North Carolina transgender bathroom law. She grew up in the South, so she spoke from personal experience.
"If you're in Mississippi or North Carolina, or anywhere, and you're saddened by the fact that people are judging you based on who you love, don't lose hope," she said. "I was fired for being gay, and I know what it feels like. I lost everything. But look at me now."
DeGeneres included a special message of hope in her monologue.
"There's already so much inequality in the world," she said. "Women's rights, [the] gender pay gap, racism. I think that we need to remember that we are more similar than we are different, and we all want the same things: love, acceptances, kindness … I advocate for less hate and for more love, less tearing apart and more coming together."