GOP Attorney General Confronted With Horribly Anti-Gay Record in Wake of Orlando Terror Attack
For more than five minutes CNN’s Anderson Cooper grilled Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi over her anti-gay record live on-air Tuesday afternoon. Bondi was confronted with her horrible anti-gay attacks just days after the nation’s deadliest mass shooting, and worst terror attack since 9/11, which had targeted the LGBT community.
Cooper first challenged Bondi for positioning herselfÂ as a champion of the LGBT community on Sunday, when she said, “Anyone who attacks our LGBT community, anyone who attacks anyone in our state, will be gone after to the fullest extent of the law.”
The CNN journalist directly told Bondi that he has talked with LGBT people in Florida “who are not fans of yours and they thought you were being a hypocrite.” He then reminded her that “for years” she has “gone after gay people,” and “said in court that gay people simply by fighting for marriage equality, were trying to do harm to the people of Florida, to ‘induce public harm,’ I believeÂ is the term you used in court. Do you really think that you’re a champion of the gay community?,” he asked a seemingly stunned Bondi.
The Republican attorney general responded by saying she was sworn to uphold the constitution of the State of Florida, and defending the marriage amendment was part of her job. It should be noted that when he was the US Attorney General, Eric Holder specifically told state AGs they were under no obligation to defend marriage bans if they believeÂ them to be unconstitutional.
“I’ve never said I don’t like gay people, that’s ridiculous,” Bondi charged.
“Do you worryÂ about using language accusingÂ gay people of ‘doing harm’ to theÂ people of Florida when doesn’tÂ that send a message to peopleÂ who might have bad ideas inÂ mind?,” Cooper pressed.
“Anderson, I don’t believe gay people could do harm to the state of Florida,” Bondi responded. Cooper interjected, “But you argued that in court.”
“My lawyer argued a case defending what the Supreme Court allowed the voters to put in our state constitution,” Bondi said.
Bondi also insisted she never said same-sex marriage would do harm to Florida. “Of course not, of course not,” she told Cooper. “I never said that. Those words never came out of my mouth.”
“That’s what you were arguing in court,” Cooper insisted.
“You know, no. No,” Bondi responded. “What we argued was it was in the constitution of the state of Florida.”
Cooper continued to drill and grill the Republican AG, noting that on television she has been telling Floridians of a hotline they can call to learn the status of their loved ones.
“Had there been no gay marriage, no same-sex marriage, you do realize that spouses, there would be no spouses, that boyfriends and girlfriends of the dead would not be able to get information and would not be able to call or visit in the hospital here. Isn’t there a sick irony in that?” Cooper asked.
“Let me take it a step further. People aren’t right now who are partners and aren’t married, officially aren’t able to get information so we’re trying to assist them in getting information. Because early on –“
Cooper interrupted, “But isn’t there a sick irony that you for years were fighting that very idea?”
“I was defending the constitution of what over 69 percent of the voters put in the constitution,” Bondi said.
“But the courts, the federal courts said that’s not the constitution and you continued to fight it,” Cooper said, noting she took it all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court and that heÂ “continued to fight it after the federal judge ruled and spent hundreds of thousands of dollars fighting it.”
Bondi challenged Cooper, saying “we rushed to get it to the Supreme Court.”
Moving to change topics, Bondi said, “You know what today is about? Human beings. Today’s about victims.”
“Itâ€™s about gay and lesbian victims,” Cooper retorted.
“It sure is,” Bondi replied. “LGBT victims.”
“Is it hypocritical to portray yourself as a champion of the gay community when â€“Â I’m just reflecting what gay people told me they don’t see you as this.”
“Anderson,” Bondi, exasperated, said, “Iâ€™m not portraying myself as anything but trying to help human beings who have lost their lives, who are behind us right now in hospital beds, who have family members who aren’t getting the services they need.”
“This morning,” she continued, “you know what I’ve been doing? Trying to fight with a funeral home for overcharging family members to bury the loved ones. I’m not championing anything other than Floridians. Thatâ€™s what this is about. We are about human beings.”
“I will say,” Cooper, unrelenting, continued, “I have never really seen you talk about gays and lesbians and transgender people in a positive way until now. I read your Twitter history for the last year and you were tweeting about, you know, National Dog Month and National Shelter Dog Appreciation Day, orÂ Adopt a Shelter Dog Day. It is Gay Pride Month. You never even tweeted about Gay Pride Month.”
“Well actually, if you look at my website now,” Bondi urged, “we have hands clasped together, all different-colored, rainbow-hands people,” Bondi said.
“Moving forward, do you see yourself as being a vocal champion for gay and lesbian citizens in the state?,” Cooper asked.
“They are citizens just like anyone else. Of course. My goodness, Anderson, weâ€™ve had 49 people murdered, simply because they were in a bar at the wrong time. Itâ€™s horrible. I’m a career prosecutor. Those family members are devastated. These surviving victims are devastated. That’s what this is about.”
“I know a lot of gay and lesbian people in the state want to feel that the people that represent them, represent everybody in the state.”
“We’re human beings, and that’s what this is about,” Bondi said. “Thatâ€™s what this is about.”
In 2014 Bondi filed court documents whichÂ claimed that recognizing out-of-state legal civil same-sex marriages would â€œimpose significant public harmâ€ and play havoc with existing marriage laws in the Sunshine State. She also implied that same-sex couples do not create “stable and enduring family units.”
Thanks to Politico for much of the transcript
Enjoy this piece?
… then let us make a small request. The New Civil Rights Movement depends on readers like you to meet our ongoing expenses and continue producing quality progressive journalism. Three Silicon Valley giants consume 70 percent of all online advertising dollars, so we need your help to continue doing what we do.
NCRM is independent. You won’t find mainstream media bias here. From unflinching coverage of religious extremism, to spotlighting efforts to roll back our rights, NCRM continues to speak truth to power. America needs independent voices like NCRM to be sure no one is forgotten.
Every reader contribution, whatever the amount, makes a tremendous difference. Help ensure NCRM remains independent long into the future. Support progressive journalism with a one-time contribution to NCRM, or click here to become a subscriber. Thank you. Click here to donate by check.
Watch: Texas Republican Opposes Any New Gun Legislation Because We’re Going to ‘Convict’ and ‘Punish’ the Shooters
A Texas Republican state lawmaker said just one day after 19 elementary school students were shot and killed he opposes any new gun legislation for two reasons: the U.S. Constitution, and under existing laws prosecutors should just “convict” the shooters.
“What we want to know is what your solution is,” CNN host Alisyn Camerota told Rep. James White, who happens to be a former school teacher.
“We’ve all seen how quickly and creatively Texas—your local legislature—can act when it wants to, say, protect the unborn embryo,” Camerota added, referring to Texas’ vigilante abortion ban, as The Daily Beast reported. “Why not act with that alacrity to protect living, breathing 10-year-olds in this school behind me?”
“We have this thing called the Constitution,” White replied, even though the Texas abortion ban, under current law, violates at least the spirit of the Supreme Court’s Roe v. Wade decision.
Like Texas Governor Greg Abbott and many other Republicans, and like the NRA, White then defended his desire to pass no legislation to help reduce gun violence by declaring the problem is actually one of mental health.
He said, “these young men, for some reason, they have some very disturbed emotional state.”
There is no evidence, according to Gov. Abbott, that this shooter had any documented mental health issues.
White then decided to propose utilizing existing law to reduce gun violence.
“At the end of the day,” he said, “we’re going to look at the people who do these acts, we’re going to convict them, and we’re going to punish them.”
Appearing flabbergasted, Camerota replied, “You can’t convict him, sir.”
“Sir you can’t convict him. He was killed. He was killed, along with 19 children in the school behind me.”
“We’re going to look at the people who do these acts. We’re going to convict them and we’re going to punish them”
“Sir, you can’t convict him. He was killed along with 19 children in the school behind me” pic.twitter.com/Y5f6HZ0ZWU
— Acyn (@Acyn) May 25, 2022
Duggar Gets 12 Years in Jail After Prosecutor Tells Judge He Has a ‘Violent Sexual Interest in Children’
Josh Duggar, the former “19 Kids and Counting” reality TV star who was found guilty on horrific child pornography charges in December was sentenced by a federal judge Wednesday to serve 151 months – more than 12 years – in prison.
U.S. District Judge judge Timothy L. Brooks, appointed to the federal bench by President Barack Obama, called Duggar’s crimes “the sickest of the sick,” US magazine noted.
Editor’s note: Caution – graphic descriptions follow.
“Authorities described Duggar, 34, as a ‘very savvy computer user’ who tried to cover his tracks as he downloaded ‘sadistic and masochistic abuse’ material in 2019,” Buzzfeed adds.
Among the more than 600 images and videos that prosecutors said he downloaded was footage of prepubescent girls being raped, whipped, threatened with knives, and held naked in a dog cage.
Another video showed the rape and torture of a toddler — footage so terrible that a Homeland Security Investigations agent said it was among the most horrific things he had been forced to watch in his career.
The 34-year old Arkansas-born Duggar, who was forced to resign as executive director of FRC Action, the political activist arm of the anti-LGBTQ hate group Family Research Council, spent nearly two years promoting his conservative and religious values as he was fawned over as a role model by the far-right, including FRC President Tony Perkins, and former Arkansas GOP governor Mike Huckabee.
“The former TLC personality has previously been involved in multiple scandals over the years,” US adds. “In May 2015, resurfaced court documents revealed that he molested five girls — four of which were related to him — between 2002 and 2003. He was 14 and 15 years old at the time. Sisters Jill Dillard (née Duggar) and Jessa Seewald (née Duggar)came forward one month later, revealing themselves to be two of their brother’s victims.”
Duggar has seven children with his wife Anna.
Watch: Video of Beto O’Rourke Confronting Texas GOP Governor and Lt. Gov. Goes Viral
Democratic former U.S. Congressman Beto O’Rourke approached the stage where top Texas Republicans were holding a press conference following Tuesday’s mass school shooting.
“This is on you,” O’Rourke told Governor Greg Abbott, who is running for re-election against O’Rourke. Abbott was blaming the shooting that left 19 elementary school children and two teachers dead on a lack of mental health facilities in Texas, despite having rejected federal aid that would have expanded access in the Lone Star State.
“Sit down and don’t pull this stunt,” Senator Ted Cruz chastised.
But Lt. Governor Dan Patrick, arguably the most powerful person in the room, went ballistic.
“You’re out of line and an embarrassment,” Patrick told O’Rourke.
“You’re doing nothing,” O’Rourke said.
Uvalde Mayor Don McLaughlin, on stage, loudly called O’Rourke “a sick son of a bitch.”
“He needs to get his ass out of here. Sir, you are out of line. Sir, you are out of line. Sir, you are out of line,” the mayor said, as WFAA reported. “Please leave this auditorium. I cannot believe you are a sick son of a bitch that would come to a deal like this to make a political issue.”
“You are doing nothing,” O’Rourke said. “This is totally predictable. You’re all doing nothing.”
“This is on you until you choose to do something about it,” O’Rourke added.
O’Rourke was escorted out of the auditorium by a security guard.
It was not Patrick’s first attack on O’Rourke. In 2019 he used an anti-LGBTQ slur on Fox News to go after the highly-popular Democrat, calling him “light in the loafers.” O’Rourke, as NBC News noted at the time, is heterosexual.
“He is so light in the loafers he floats off the ground at times,” Patrick told Fox’s Laura Ingraham, leading to an advertiser boycott.
After, O’Rourke told reporters the “only thing” Gov. Abbott did “was make it easier to carry a gun in public.”
“And he bragged about the fact that there would be no background check, no training, no vetting whatsoever. He talked about this was evil. The only thing evil is what he continues to do to the people of this state. He says this was unpredictable — it was totally predictable and I predict this will continue to happen when you continue to have a governor who will not stand up for the people of Texas.”
The video below has been viewed 1.2 million times in just over an hour. Other versions have also gone viral.
Watch the video from earlier Wednesday via CNN:
Beto O’Rourke interrupts ongoing press conference by Texas Gov. Abbott and other officials. pic.twitter.com/qa8YY0ghQy
— Kaitlan Collins (@kaitlancollins) May 25, 2022
- 'CRIMINAL CONSPIRACY'2 days ago
‘More Evil Than Even I Imagined’: Theologian Calls Southern Baptists’ Massive Sexual Abuse and Coverup an ‘Apocalypse’
- 'INCREDIBLY DANGEROUS'3 days ago
‘The Coup Is Ongoing’: Critics Warn After ‘Arsonist’ Donald Trump Posts Message ‘Advocating or Predicting Civil War’
- RIGHT WING EXTREMISM2 days ago
Texas GOP Lawmakers Want to Ban Buying From Apple, Amazon or Levi’s in Latest Attack on Abortion
- News2 days ago
‘Lies and Hatred’: Top Russian Diplomat Resigns – Accuses Putin of Attacking Ukraine ‘To Remain in Power Forever’
- COMMENTARY1 day ago
‘Find a Spine’: State Farm Criticized After Celebrating Pride Then Dropping Program Supporting LGBTQ Books in Schools
- BREAKING NEWS2 days ago
Madison Cawthorn’s Possible ‘Improper Relationship’ With Staffer to Be Investigated by House Ethics Committee
- RIGHT WING EXTREMISM1 day ago
Far Right Activist Behind CRT Panic Brags About Attacks on Disney, State Farm for LGBTQ Support: Others ‘Will Be Next’
- News3 days ago
Private Emails Reveal How Trump’s Far-Right Lawyer Ended Up on a Government Election Commission