Anderson Cooper eviscerates Arizona State Senator over homophobic bill

Cooper=1, Melvin=0

By Aileen Graef

NEW YORK, Feb. 26 (UPI) -- CNN's Anderson Cooper eviscerated Arizona State Senator Al Melvin over a bill he supports that would allow businesses to refuse service to the LGBT community based on religious belief.

Cooper tried to make a point that the bill was inherently discriminatory toward gays, and would not back down when Melvin tried to say that no such discrimination exists. "If somebody is fired, a boss doesn't like some guy on their staff or a women on their staff because they are gay or lesbian, and they are fired for that -- which is legal because there is no protection for sexual orientation -- is that discrimination?" asked Cooper.


Melvin tried to accuse Cooper of distorting a law about religious liberty: "You know you are trying to distort a religious freedom bill and trying ... "

Cooper overrode him, pointing out that Melvin is planning to run for governor: "You're running for the governor of the state of Arizona. You're going to be the governor of gay and lesbian people and you can't even go on the record and say that if a gay and lesbian person is fired simply for being gay or lesbian, that's discrimination. You can't even make that leap and say, 'yeah, that would be discrimination.'"

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Apparently Melvin can't say that because he responded to Cooper, "I don't know of any case like you just cited, sir."

Cooper shut him down with an incredulous response: "That's never happened in the United States?"

The bill, SB 1062, has drawn heat from politicians, sports entities, and Hollywood. Gov. Jan Brewer has until Friday to make her decision about the bill and is expected to veto.

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