Arizona’s state legislature passed a bill this week that allows business owners to deny service to gays and lesbians.
But let’s see them deny that Anderson Cooper just schooled Senator Al Melvin during his appearance on AC 360!
The Senator appeared via satellite on the CNN program to debate SB 1062 - the bill he supported and voted for. According to him, this law will be about protecting “religious freedom” in the Copper State.
But A. Coop had a question: why create a bill protecting citizens' rights to discriminate against gay people when currently there is no law in Arizona protecting gay people from being discriminated against??
Basically, this bill does nothing new, other than spell out just how much the lawmakers of Arizona want to make sure hatred towards gay people stays alive and well in their state.
"You say this law is about protecting people of faith in Arizona. 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?”
Guess what. He couldn’t.
The Senator replied:
“It’s nothing more or nothing less than protecting religious freedoms in our state and we take that very seriously.”
Anderson fired back, saying:
“But it is legal already to discriminate against someone who is gay in Arizona. You can fire someone because they’re gay. There’s no law against that in most cities in Arizona, correct?”
There answer is yes. But Al continued dodging the question by responding:
“Well, I have been in our senate for six years and I don’t know of any provision in our state laws to discriminate against anyone.”
Well sure, until the bill you just voted on gets signed into law, buddy!
Al Melvin is also planning on running for governor of Arizona in the next election. So as a gubernatorial candidate, Anderson tried multiple times to ask him if firing a gay person based solely on their sexual orientation would be considered discrimination.
State Senator Melvin would not go on record saying that firing that person would be discrimination.
The video (above) is going to rile you up, guaranteed. After watching it, we feel joy that we have someone as polished as Anderson on the side of good, and angry to have an elected leader like Senator Melvin fighting for something so wrong.
But really, what we feel is sad. Because this is REALLY happening. How can legalizing discrimination seem like a good idea to anyone??
You may not live long enough to learn this, Senator Melvin, but you’re on the wrong side of history. But it’s not too late to get on the right side.