I guess we'll have to wait until later this week to find out whether or not Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer is going to listen to the politicians from her own state, or give into the hatemongers who want to use religion as an excuse to discriminate against the LGBT community there. In the meantime, one of the politicians hoping to take her place as governor didn't do himself any favors during this interview with CNN's Anderson Cooper this Monday.
Anderson Cooper took on Arizona state senator Al Melvin Monday night over the state’s proposed legislation to allow businesses to exercise their religious freedom to discriminate against LGBT citizens. Melvin insisted, “It’s nothing more and nothing less than protecting religious freedom in our state.” Cooper noted how Arizona doesn’t expressly prohibit discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation, and grilled Melvin on why, then, they would need to reaffirm a right that isn’t under threat in the state in the first place.
Cooper asked, “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?”
Melvin said he could not, arguing the bill is “preemptive.” Cooper asked him if, hypothetically, a Catholic loan officer could refuse to give a loan to a divorced woman. Melvin told Cooper he was being “far-fetched,” insisting, “I don’t know of anybody in Arizona who would discriminate against a fellow human being.”
When Cooper pointed out that Arizona businesses (including the state Chamber of Commerce) oppose the bill, Melvin said it’s “because there has become a media frenzy on this.” Cooper incredulously asked, “You’re seriously blaming the media on this?! Oh, come on.”
I'm not sure what Melvin expected if he's going to go on the air with a gay man and then try to defend why it's alright to discriminate against the person you're speaking to and treat them as a second-class citizen and human being. Melvin finished up the interview by accusing Cooper of "trying to set him up" with his line of questioning.
If he wants to know what a setup looks like, go watch Bill-O's stalker producer over at Faux "news" ambush someone. Cooper was way more polite and treated this bigot with way more deference than he deserved.