Ellen Page just grilled Ted Cruz on gay rights

Presidential candidate and Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) is a formidable debater who has argued several cases in front of the Supreme Court.

But that didn’t worry actress Ellen Page, who on Friday sparred with Cruz for about five minutes in Iowa over his record on gay-rights issues.

At the beginning of the exchange, which was captured by ABC News, Page asked Cruz why he supports so-called “religious freedom” laws that allow LGBT individuals to be fired based on their sexual preferences. 

“Well, what we’re seeing right now — we’re seeing Bible-believing Christians being persecuted for living according to their faith,” Cruz said.

“You’re discriminating against LGBT people. Well, would you use that argument in segregation?” Page said.

“Now I’m happy to answer your question, but not to have a back-and-forth debate,” Cruz responded.

Cruz — a longtime opponent of same-sex marriage — then pivoted to a frequently repeated anecdote about a couple that was sued for not agreeing to host a same-sex wedding at their Iowa gallery and decided to stop hosting marriages after they were fined $US5,000.

Cruz went on to criticise the US-led nuclear deal with Iran, asking why the Obama administration hadn’t addressed persecution of gay Iranians.

“I don’t know, I’d love to talk to Obama about that,” Page said. 

“Good, then we’re in agreement then,” Cruz responded, as he began to walk away. 

“No, we’re not. Don’t do that,” Page said.

Watch the exchange below, via ABC:

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