Anderson Cooper Destroys Arizona’s Bigoted GOP State Senator Defending Religious Anti-Gay Law

Anderson Cooper destroyed Arizona State Senator and gubernatorial candidate Al Melvin over the controversial anti-gay SB 1062 bill on AC360 tonight. If signed into law, the bill would allow businesses and individuals to discriminate against gays and lesbians based on their ‘religious’ beliefs.

Cooper pointed out that sexual orientation is currently not included in Arizona’s anti-discriminatory legislature, asking Melvin if he had any knowledge of a single instance someone in Arizona has been discriminated against based on their religious beliefs. Melvin could not come up with one example, and maintained that the bill was a preemptive measure, meant to protect religious freedom, not be a means of discrimination.

Cooper then proposed a hypothetical situation under the pending legisaltion, where a business person could discriminate against a divorced woman or an unwed mother because Jesus clearly spoke against divorce in the Bible.

Melvin fired back:

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

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,” said Melvin, clearly frustrated by the line of questioning.

Watch part I below:

Watch part II:


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  1. Samaire Provost on February 25, 2014

    It’s like he’s impaired or something o.O

  2. jakeb arturio braden on February 25, 2014

    scary that people like this can make laws. He says he doesn’t want to discriminate against anyone yet its ok to have religious freedom to refuse service to LGB&T people how is that not discrimination.

  3. Brenda Johnson on February 25, 2014

    I am a native Arizonan and I am embarrassed by our lawmakers. This guy is so out of touch and obviously has no idea what he is talking about. He certainly will not get my vote for governor.

    I wonder how he would react to the statement…..So if a Jewish person (I love the loan officer example) did not want to work with a Christian, or if a Muslim did not want to deal with a Christian, that will be OK in Arizona right?

    Hopefully Governor Brewer has heard the voice of the people and will veto this ridiculous legislation. Honest, hard working, loving, people make up the most of the population here!!

  4. Tam Chronin on February 25, 2014

    Wait. We’re more people friendly in Arizona? HA! We don’t discriminate? WOW! I’ve got plenty of LBGT friends who live here in AZ with me who would LOVE to give this man a reality check. D: Keep talking, mister. It just cements in my mind who I will vote against in the next state election.

  5. amaris on February 25, 2014

    It is not about religion. It is about the right as a business owner to refuse service to whom ever you want. That is there right to do so and who are we or the government to stop those owners from allowing whom ever they want in the establishment.

    • Anonymous on February 25, 2014

      If you mean “their” right, I would argue that a public establishment does not have the right to bar any member of the public.

    • Edward saunders on February 25, 2014

      Amaris, Are you kidding? There are LAWS about refusing service to people for discriminatory reasons. Where does it end? Amaris,hmm, sounds foreign to me. How about I discriminate against you because your name doesn’t sound “American”?

    • Drumcorps on February 25, 2014

      I can’t imagine as a business owner why I would want to refuse service to anyone.

      • Mek on February 26, 2014

        I can understand the concept. All commerce should be voluntary. I should be able to refuse to sell you a cheeseburger because I don’t like your haircut.

        That said, this law specifically targets LGBT persons, and should be struck down by the state’s Supreme Court, or the SCOTUS since sexual orientation is now a federally protected class.

        Also, in today’s society, this would be suicidal for any business. A sign in your window saying “No Homos” or “No Mexicans”, you might as well just close up shop.

    • Jacques on February 26, 2014

      The issue of the right of businesses to discriminate was settled by the country on the side of minorities several decades ago. The “defense of religion” sounds exactly like nostalgia for segregation.

  6. Trayne on February 25, 2014

    How can this guy be a candidate for anything… He can not speak to the measure, he will not say that if I am Jewish and I don’t want to deal with a Muslim… I have every right to stand my ground and not do it. This is how I read the bill, everything is being opened blatant discrimination. Not just the LGBT community, but everyone , all those religious fanatics that want to get on the band wagon… He is not going to mention the LGBT, he is too smart for that… but not smart enough to know that Anderson Cooper, didn’t have to “Set him up”…. he did it himself

  7. John on February 26, 2014

    The right of owners to refuse goods and services already exists in Arizona. It is therefore redundant to create a law to protect business owners or religious individuals from refusing services. Gay marriage is illegal and it’s actually already completely legal to discriminate against individuals based on sexual orientation in Arizona. Sexual orientation is not protected in anti-discrimination in statutes It’s a complete waste of time.

    This is not about protecting the sanctity of marriage, it’s solely about creating laws to discriminate against individuals. I am straight am a straight male and I honestly do not care if a gay couple wants to get married. In fact, it’s none of my business what other individuals want to do in their private lives.. I believe if these legislators want to protect marriage and family, how about we sincerely legislate on those topics? How about we make it illegal to get divorce?? Nothing undermines marriage more than divorce. In fact, nothing breaks a family apart more than divorce. If we make it illegal to get divorced and force people to really stay in it, “for better or worse,” the marriage rate would stay in tact…. I some how don’t see this on the horizon…. why? Probably because marriage is not sacred and individuals are fallible, just as relationships are….

  8. Michael on February 26, 2014

    This was by far the funniest example of straight ignorance and bigotry I have ever seen. If anyone ever thought this man had an ounce of intelligence, they should just be removed from the country. If i was someone who voted for this man, i would be hidding in a closet hitting a jack daniels bottle. He could not give one example of how someones religious freedom was ever threatened. AC gave great examples of how this bill would work if it was passed and he tried to shoot it down. Most likley because he realized how stupid this bill is when he heard how it could be used against straight people. Guess he really didnt think that one throught to well. My prayers are with the LGBT community in AZ. I am deeply sorry this is what you are surrounded with. And realizing you are are the superior race..