Anderson Cooper Hammers Arizona State Senator Over Anti-LGBT Law

anderson-cooperI don’t praise Republicans on much, but I do give them credit for being masters at propaganda and spin.  The wealthy aren’t rich, they’re “job creators.”  Tax cuts for the “job creators” aren’t tax cuts, they’re “vital for job creation.”  Somehow they’ve managed to convince tens of millions of conservative voters that they’re the party for “fiscal responsibility,” yet every Republican president of the last 60 years has grown our national debt.

Heck, they constantly try to grow government control over our private lives while somehow running on the platform as the “party for small government.”

It’s brilliant.

Take the push in Arizona to pass new anti-LGBT legislation which would essentially make discriminating against homosexuals in Arizona legal.

But, of course, Republicans aren’t calling this a discrimination bill but a “religious freedom” bill.  Because it gives people the right to discriminate based on their religious beliefs.


Well, CNN’s Anderson Cooper took Arizona State Senator Al Melvin to task over the bill when Melvin tried to insinuate that the outrage over this bill is the media’s fault.

The back and forth started with Cooper asking Melvin, “Can you give me a specific example of someone in Arizona who’s been forced to do something against their religious belief or successfully sued because of their faith?”

Of course Melvin couldn’t.  He did, however, call the bill “preemptive.”

So, let me get this straight.  Melvin can’t cite a single example of anyone being forced to do something against their religious beliefs, but he feels this legislation should become law “just in case.”  A bill which would make it legal for people to essentially say to someone, “We don’t serve homosexuals here – it’s against our religion.”

Cooper then pointed out many Arizona businesses oppose this bill, as well as the state’s Chamber of Commerce.  That’s when Melvin decided to try to blame the media, saying it’s, “because there has become a media frenzy on this.”

That’s where Cooper tore into the state senator, saying, “You’re seriously blaming the media on this?! Oh, come on.”

He then pressed Melvin about his thoughts on if firing someone for being homosexual is discrimination.  A question Melvin refused to answer directly, saying, “I know you’re trying to set me up, and I’m not going to stand for it, sir.”


Set him up?  How exactly?  He asked him a direct question.  The only way this is a “set up” is if Melvin says that he feels it’s perfectly acceptable for businesses to be able to fire homosexuals for being gay.

The question itself is fairly simple.  But the fact Melvin refused to give a simple answer speaks volumes.  He’s well aware that most Americans oppose legislation like this.  He’s well aware that this bill will open up the possibility of people being able to discriminate based on the “religious beliefs.”  Something that could allow for homosexuals to be fired for being gay.

The bottom line is, Melvin can say this bill stands for “religious freedom” all he wants, but he damn sure knows it’s about conservatives trying to legalize discrimination.  I’m just glad Anderson Cooper stood tall during this interview and called the Arizona senator out for his nonsense.

Allen Clifton

Allen Clifton is a native Texan who now lives in the Austin area. He has a degree in Political Science from Sam Houston State University. Allen is a co-founder of Forward Progressives and creator of the popular Right Off A Cliff column and Facebook page. Be sure to follow Allen on Twitter and Facebook, and subscribe to his channel on YouTube as well.

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  • Kristinfan413years

    REPUBLICANS ARE STUPID

    • Sandy Greer

      They live in a ‘bubble’; think everybody thinks ‘just like them’.

      This country is moving Left, slowly, but surely, and inexorably. Republicans just don’t ‘get’ that, and continue to beat their heads against the Tides of Change.

      ^^^In that respect, yes, they are stupid.

      • plusaf

        Read the recent Atlantic Magazine or Reason Magazine from Last October…
        The country is moving towards the Center and Away from the fringes AND Democrat and Republican parties!
        Many Millennials would vote for a range of public assistance programs, but when they’re reminded that doing so would cost them more in tax dollars, a lot of them back off from wholehearted support.

    • plusaf

      All broad generalizations are dangerous.

  • rossbro

    STAY OUTTA ARIZONA!!!!!!!!!!!! They’ll get the message when the Billionaires tell them what to think.

  • Sandy Greer

    I don’t think the governor will sign the bill.

    Saw the interview; also a couple other interviews about the bill (different people) None of the supporters could answer the tough questions.

    I wonder if they signed onto the bill knowing full well it doesn’t have a hope in Hell of becoming law…but they get to go home to their constituents and say they ‘stood’ for right-wing values.

    ^^^I suspect that’s what’s going on here.

  • I saw that. Anderson Cooper was the first journalist I’ve seen to mention that in New Mexico, gays and lesbians are actually a protected class, re blacks/women in the Civil Rights Amendment. I believe this is called the “Human Rights Clause” in the New Mexico Constitution, and their Supreme Court cited it in its decision. Therefore, those people were right to sue that photographer for refusing to photograph their ceremony, and I’m glad they won.

  • Sunny Ray

    I just watched the interview… wow… is that the kind of person that state keeps putting into office? He didn’t answer a single question but with “the botoom line is blablabla…” republicans keep on hurting themselves, pitiful.

  • Pat

    Cannot wait for the “party of hate” to go bye-bye, and they can take all of their “religious freedom” bigots with them!

  • Edward Krebbs

    Even if the gov vetoes, the fact this made if through the legislature shows AZ in a bad light. And as a practical effect, I’m sure a lot of folks in AZ (and nationwide) will try to get away with things just because they see this bill as supporting them.

  • moe/larry & curly keys

    white trash regressive religious scum ,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,lets all get a VOODOO “god” in OTHER peoples daily lives,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,, REMEMBER: its against MY religion ( praise jeeeeesus) to obey speed signs on highway,,,pay taxes,,,,pay any bills,,,,and its ok for me to rape ( never would but add for color here) anything with great NATURAL breasts ( human only please)
    ,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,, how about we just outlaw these stupid religions???