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Anderson Cooper Slams Senator Who Doesn’t ‘Know Anyone In Arizona That Would Discriminate’

by David Badash on February 25, 2014

in Bigotry Watch,Civil Rights,Discrimination,News,Politics,Religion

Post image for Anderson Cooper Slams Senator Who Doesn’t ‘Know Anyone In Arizona That Would Discriminate’

Monday night, CNN’s Anderson Cooper interviewed Arizona Republican state senator Al Melvin, who is running for governor and is the only candidate actively supporting SB-1062, the anti-gay “religious freedom” license to discriminate bill. Senator Melvin could not give Cooper any examples of religious discrimination that SB-1062 would prevent in the Grand Canyon State. He used the phrase “religious freedom” a lot, but, despite the ten-minute unedited interview, was at a loss for words to support the existence of the bill that currently sits on Gov. Jan Brewer‘s desk.

In fact, Anderson Cooper was forced to repeatedly state, “but you can’t cite one example where religious freedom is under attack in Arizona.”


“Not now, no, but how about tomorrow, Sen. Melvin offered, after pausing.

“Well — I don’t understand what that means,” Cooper responded. “I mean, if you can’t cite in the entire history of Arizona, one case where religious freedom has been under attack, or even in the last year where it’s been under attack, is this really the most important thing for you to be workin’ on in the state House and the Senate?”

“We’re doing many things, sir,” Sen. Melvin replied. “We are trying to stop Common Core from being implemented in the state, we’re trying to secure the border… We can do multiple things here, and this is one of them — to protect religious freedom.”

Cooper then offered an example of an unwed mother and a divorced woman who, under SB-1062, could easily be targeted by those exercising their “religious freedom.”

“I don’t know where you’re getting your hypotheticals,” Melvin said. “Who would be against an unwed mother?”

Cooper, again, was forced to educate the Senator. “Jesus spoke against divorce,” he told the Arizona Republican. “He never said anything about gay people.”

“I think you’re being far-fetched with all due respect sir,” Sen. Melvin told Cooper. “As a Christian, as most God-fearing men and women would respect unwed mothers, divorced women — who would discriminate against them. I’ve never heard of discriminating against people like that.”

Melvin refused to consider Cooper’s purely plausible examples.

“You know, all of the pillars of society are under attack in the United States. The family, the traditional family, traditional marriage, mainline churches, the Boy Scouts, you name it. All of the pillars of society as we know it today are under attack, including religious freedom.”

(The irony of Sen. Melvin telling an openly-gay man that “all of the pillars of society,” including “traditional marriage,” “are under attack in the United States,” escaped the Senator.)

Cooper then asked, “Under attack by who?”

“Well, Melvin responded, “it’s throughout the country. We had a ballot measure a few years ago, to define marriage as between one man and one woman… and it passed and that now is part of our constitution.”

Cooper then reminded Melvin that, “no florist is going to be forced to participate in a gay wedding, because, ‘a’ — you don’t have gay weddings in Arizona, and you’re not going to any time soon — and ‘b’ under Arizona law, it’s OK to discriminate against a gay person, to refuse them service already.”

“With all due respect sir, I don’t know anyone in Arizona that would discriminate against a fellow human being.”

“Discrimination doesn’t exist in Arizona?,” Cooper, shocked, asked, noting he knows people in New York who discriminate.

“Well, maybe you ought to move to Arizona. We’re more people-friendly here, apparently.”

Senator Melvin’s lack of understanding of the bill, the intended or unintended consequences of the bill, and what discrimination actually means and that it exists is appalling and embarrassing.

Sen. Melvin closed by reminding Cooper that he is “the only candidate for governor in Arizona who is promoting and defending this bill.”


Below is the video. Part two includes NYU Law Professor Kenji Yoshino who defended Cooper’s analysis.

Towards the end of part two, Cooper blasts Melvin who refuses to state whether or not he believes firing an LGBT person form being LGBT is discrimination.

“You’re going to be governor of gay and lesbian people, and you can’t even go on the record and say if a gay or lesbian person is fired simply for being gay or lesbian, that’s discrimination?” Cooper incredulously inquired. “You can’t even make that leap and say, ‘Yeah, that would be discrimination’?”

“I don’t know of any case like you just cited, sir,” Melvin responded.

If video is not loading, visit CNN here.

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kennyddd1 February 25, 2014 at 8:00 am

IS this clear enough for you hate filled hypocritical a holes?? These people in AZ are freaking wackos who are ONLY motivated by HATE cut and dry no ifs ands or butts this guy is representative of people who are INSANE

keithff February 25, 2014 at 8:06 am

What an asshole. he wants to protect religion but he is implementing a discrimination law. then he said no one has been fired for being gay. how stupid. I live in the UK but I have read the news online of people being fired for being gay. He wants the gay vote, fight for equality for all tax payers and leave the tax dodgers (churches) out of politics.
This guy must have had more than one marriage, therefor as I don't believe in divorce he has no place in politics

billbo66 February 25, 2014 at 11:37 am

Keith The party f God isn't worried about getting the gay vote. They want to splinter the vote and make it harder to vote. It keeps them in power

Meri70 February 25, 2014 at 9:21 pm

Yes this is the true side of the U.S. people like him run the Government in many states, and yes people do get fired for being gay. sad but true. EX: a guy i know started working for a company when he was 16, and worked for that same company until he was about 27, had been promoted into management, and always got employee of the month, Year, many times. He kept his private life out of his work and never even talked about his partner, he went on vacation to the beach, about 3 hrs away from where he lived, with his partner, and they were walking down the beach holding hands, and just happened to run into one of his bosses, they spoke, wished each other well and went on about their own business, when my friend got back to work he was called into the owner of the company's office, and was told because they found out he was Gay, they had to let him go, and if they would have found out sooner, he would have already been gone. So none of the Great work he did meant any thing to them just because he was Gay, even though ALL those years he had been gay and they praised him for his work , because they did not know, he was fired, and was unable to get unemployment, because they said they fired him because he had not been honest with them, from the time he was first hired. not just in Az. the majority of the states this can happen.

BJLincoln February 25, 2014 at 8:16 am

What is "Common Core"? The Senator sounds like he is drugged. He is slow and can't seem to grasp what discrimination is. I don't see him having much of a shot at being Governor.
Way to go Anderson!

billbo66 February 25, 2014 at 11:32 am

BJ, You don't think he has a chance? Its AZ, Papers please. No papers? your under arrest.
BJ, you fail to realize the level of uneducated voters there. Its a state that elected Jeff Flake, Jan Brewer and J.D. Hayworth. McCain is the only one there with any sense and that in its self is scary.

LadyRose85 February 25, 2014 at 6:00 pm

He is referring to the Common Core standards regarding education. They have been implemented by many states, and it is almost always a controversial matter. As for his shot at being governor, I wouldn't be surprised if he was elected. I used to live in Arizona. While there are some wonderful people, most of them are nuttier than squirrel turds.

teeveedub February 25, 2014 at 11:39 am

Today's conspiracy theory: They're trotting this guy around to make Jan Brewer look more intelligent in comparison (although I'm sure they had to search the state to find someone more stupid and inarticulate than she is).

billbo66 February 25, 2014 at 11:55 am

This Senator is a buffoon. He's an absolute idiot….I hknw your tying to set me up. LMAO

anusca84 February 25, 2014 at 1:51 pm

There appears to be a confusion between "freedom" and "entitlement" — you are free to practice your religion (aka nobody can tell you not to), but that does not entitle you to impose it on others to the detriment of *their* freedoms. I'm in Georgia, and unfortunately, we are moving backwards as well –

Meri70 February 25, 2014 at 9:05 pm

WOW!!! talk about a circle of lies, and this guy is running for Governor? I hope the people of Az. see this man for the LIAR he is and do not vote for him.
Anderson Cooper, thank you for showing the World what an Idiot this man is.

Pubster197 February 25, 2014 at 11:59 pm

Cooper sure brought this guy's stupidity to the surface, but Cooper claimed there was nothing in the Bible speaking of being gay. Wrong!!! I do not have time to educate Mr Cooper, but he & others should check out the quotes & verses at Evilbible. com. Cooper's twisting of facts regarding the Bible is as wrong as this politician is stupid.

HelenT2 February 26, 2014 at 6:35 am

I suggest you watch the video again Pubster197, Cooper makes no claims that the bible doesn't speak about being gay. What Cooper actually says is that Jesus never spoke about being gay, where as Jesus did speak about things like divorce. And I think the reason he says ''Jesus'' instead of ''the bible'' is because there are so much crazy and disgusting things in the old testament such as slavery being okay and killing children that when its used in an argument against religion, religious folk just claim nobody really lives by the old testament stuff anymore.

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