The Daily Show sent correspondent Al Madrigal down to the two most well known bigoted states in the Union—Mississippi and Alabama—in order to assess which is most likely to “win” the title of the last hold out state to ratify same-sex marriage.
“Gay marriage is now legal in New York, California, Massachusetts…you know, the gay states,” said Jon Stewart on the Daily Show on Tuesday, October 29.
“But how long till the rest of the nation sees the light?”
What followed is a segment called “The Last Gay Standing,” where Madrigal, inspired by Nate Silver of FiveThirtyEight.com‘s assertion that the states of the South, especially Alabama and Mississippi, would be the last hold outs for gay marriage, set out in order to assess for himself which state would win the “intolerance-off.”
“With regards to same-sex marriage, Alabama will be the last to ratify, if we ever ratify,” said Alabama Civil Rights attorney Doug Jones.
“Mississippi will be last, and we’ll get there kicking and screaming all the way,” said Mississippi columnist Slim Smith.
Deciding that on-the-ground research would be the best way to collect evidence, Madrigal hired two “stunt men” and sent them out onto the streets acting as an openly gay couple, to see in which state they would encounter more intense homophobia.
The states went through three trials—gay PDA on the streets, a visit to a local carnival, and a gay marriage proposal inside an old school southern waffle house.
To see what happened on the streets of the South’s two most notoriously conservative states, and to find out who won the intolerance-off, check out the video here.